It’s midnight here in Puerto De La Cruz, Tenerife. I’m in my hostel – well, it claims to be a hotel, but the evidence and price suggest otherwise. It’s hot. With no AC or fan, I’ve left my patio door open. Dance music, from a party some streets away, floods my room. Sleep won’t come easy tonight.

I’m back in North Tenerife to launch the Harrogate International Academy, which has morphed from its previous – though still wonderful  – incarnation.

Tomorrow morning, the mayor of Puerto De La Cruz will open our Yorkshire outpost, off the coast of Africa. Hopefully, lots of people will join us, creating a lively party atmosphere.

When I visited the academy this evening, I was delighted to find it filled with all things British, including vast quantities of Yorkshire Tea, Pimm’s, and custard creams.

Late into this evening, I’ve been contemplating what to say to the mayor if he asks why I acquired this wonderful academy. This is what I’ll say:

Over the last few years, as my health deteriorated, the Canary Islands – the people and the land – made me better. So, I’m forever indebted. I must repay my debts.

So, I’m here to serve, not to take. My goal is to run the greatest educational organisation these islands have ever seen, benefiting the local community. I’ll give, far more than I’ll take. And we shall grow and grow. Watch this space, Mr. Mayor.

And fellow passengers on this journey: please fasten your seatbelts.

harrogate international academy

(With our classes being online, as well as in-person, if you or someone you know is needing mentoring, English language tuition, business mentoring or Spanish classes – with more subjects to come! – please get in touch).