It is always an honor to host talented authors here on The Indie Spot. Today’s guest is no exception. Please give a warm welcome to RRBC’s June Spotlight Author, Robert Fear.
Mi blog es tu blog, Robert…
I was born in Leicester, England in 1955. My family moved south to a village in Surrey called South Nutfield when I was eleven years old. We moved into Dawn Cottage and this was where I spent my formative teenage years. During this time I attended Reigate Grammar School, which was a five mile journey by train and bus. It was here that I picked up the nickname of Fred.
In 1974, after gaining three A Levels (English Literature, British Government & Politics and History), I started work at a private bank in the city. I had every intention of working for a year and then going to university. In the end I worked there for three years.
During the summer of 1976 I went on a two week holiday with three mates to the Spanish island of Ibiza. We had a fantastic time and vowed to go back for the summer the following year. Come the next April I returned there on my own, although my mates joined me later in the summer. I ended up working in a bar called Grannies and loved the whole vibe, met plenty of young ladies and had a great time, but didn’t sleep a lot!
I returned to England for the winter and worked twelve hour night shifts at a plastics factory to get more money together for the next summer. In the spring of 1977 I set off again, this time to hitch-hike around Europe. For four months I made my way through Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Greece and several islands. Then I travelled to Italy, France, Spain and back to Ibiza for the last two months of the summer.
It was during this return visit that Fred met Rita and this time when I left Ibiza it was to head for Frankfurt in Germany. I moved in with Rita, who lived with her parents in a house in Ruppertshain, a small village in the Taunus hills. I got work on a building site and then in a Coca Cola factory.
By the spring of 1979 there was enough money in the coffers to fund a trip to the States and Canada. I started in New York where I spent a week before travelling on a three month Greyhound bus pass up the east coast. Then I travelled across Canada, and down the west coast where I stayed in Los Angeles for two weeks. After that I headed across the States to Florida and back up the east coast to end my journey in New York. An incredible round trip.
Back in Germany I got a job as a messenger at the First National Bank of Chicago. Within six months I was promoted to the accounts department as I picked up the language and proved my worth. The travel bug didn’t go away though. I stayed there for fifteen months before heading off again, this time to Asia.
This period is covered by my travel memoir Fred’s Diary 1981: Travels in Asia. It was the only time in my life I recorded almost everything I did, sometimes in excruciating detail. The trip lasted six months and I travelled through Hong Kong, Thailand, India and Nepal.
Returning to Frankfurt in the late summer of 1981 was a shock to the system, a real case of reverse culture shock. Things got back to normality when I returned to the bank and worked there for another five years, becoming group leader of the accounts department. By the time I left my German was fluent.
During this period I lived in Sachsenhausen, the bar and restaurant area of Frankfurt near the Main River, often staying out late and enjoying life. Holiday allowance was generous in Germany and I could take a month of travelling each year. I enjoyed trips to the Canary Islands, Scandinavia and Turkey.
After returning from Turkey in November 1985 my life changed. I got together with the love of my life and in July 1986 I moved to Eastbourne (on the south coast of England) to be with her.
Robert and Lynn
Lynn and I are still together over thirty years later and have lived in the same house since 1988 (the mortgage will soon be paid off!). We got married in Kenya in 1994 and are cat lovers, having had a succession of rescues.
Robert and Jet
The travel bug has never gone away. We have had great holidays in Portugal, Crete, Germany, Australia and the Seychelles. More recently we spent a week in New York in 2015 and a week cruising around Norway in 2016.
I had to start from scratch with my career in England, but found my niche in accountancy and computer software. This provided the opportunity over the last fifteen years to travel with work. I have been all over Europe, as well as Singapore, Australia (for a week!), Ghana (at a Guinness brewery) and Suriname (in the middle of the rain forest).
Social Media Links!
Facebook – fredsdiary1981
Twitter Handle – @fredsdiary1981
Website – http://www.fd81.net/