The year was around 1987, before I learnt to speak a single word of English.
It may make me sound old, but back in those days Spain only had two TV channels. Our humble, working class flat had a TV set with no remote control and no actual sofa to sit on, just a comfortable lounge chair for lucky old me, who enjoyed the monopoly over this coveted seat far too often.
Cheap, safe, comforting, TV was a focal point of our family life, by the whizzing fan in the summer. And so it was that I first came across my lifelong heroine, Anne of Green Gables.
I felt we had lots in common. I am not a red hair orphan girl. I am not into non-stop talking (regardless of what my husband thinks at times!). And yet there was something in this story that spoke volumes to me: about the power of imagination to feed our ambitions, the perseverance needed to follow your dreams, the humility and resilience to understand that love and loss follow hand in hand as you get older.
It also left me with a (yet unfulfilled) yearning to visit beautiful Prince Edward Island off the East Coast of Canada, where I know the green hills and coastal views are waiting for me to set foot on it one day.
I suppose as I grew older I tried to become more sophisticated, consciously or unconsciously. So I had kind of forgotten about Anne’s TV incarnation (a TV movie aired as a series in Spain). It was also a way to create more distance between myself and my childhood. But when the news came this week that Jonathan Crombie, the actor who portrayed Anne’s soulmate Gil, had died, it made me sad. The innocent teasing, love and devotion and protection in their love story were so touching that contemplating it through the eyes of an almost forty years old was almost too much. So may you rest in peace.