My career in Batik didn't start until 1970 when sheer desperation and dire economic necessity drove me to pick up a waxy paint brush once more. I left England in that year following the quite amicable breakup of my nine year marriage to Elspeth. She was a minister's daughter and came from the Scottish Border country while the last place I'd lived before Scotland had been East Africa. We'd met as students at Edinburgh University and were best friends for years without ever really sharing the same ideals or ambitions. As often happens with first early relationships, Elspeth and I grew slowly apart, both drifted into affairs with other people and before we realized what was happening, had taken long steps down different paths. She was a social worker with a strong commitment to service. I only knew what I didn't want to do and how I didn't want to live the rest of my life.
I decided to visit my oldest friend Chris who lived on Ibiza, the second largest of the Spanish Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. Chris had really tried but had been unable to reconcile himself to married life in Edinburgh. One morning, without saying a word to anyone, he had left his house, wife and newly born daughter to go to work and had vanished into the magical hills and deep sky blue of Ibiza. He had never come back to Britain and had been writing
to me about beautiful people, his life as a musician, full-moon parties, almond blossoms and a wonderful new lifestyle for the past two years.