Welcome to Barcelona!
It must have been fate. When lifelong friends first came over to visit, after hugs, kisses and several chilled beers later, I asked, "What have you got planned for tomorrow?"
"We're going to book ourselves on one of those bus tours." they said.
I said I'd meet them in Plaça Catalunya instead and do my own 'Tours by Gill' version.
That's when the it hit me.
I am PASSIONATE about my city and after 40 years working here, my little black book is filled with contacts and secrets to show.
I all the secret spots, visit the beautiful chocolate shop with the ornate roof, the tapas restaurant where only the locals go (and the staff swear at you in Catalan), inside grand carriage entrances, take photographs from the rooftops and plan your other days in this vibrant city.
I'm now living my dream job. I speak fluent English, naturally, being from Manchester, England, but also Spanish, Catalan and a little bit of French too.
It was Friday the 13th August 1982 that I boarded a flight from Manchester Airport to Barcelona.
I'd recently graduated in languages and had landed myself a temporary job in an office as a bi-lingual secretary
at an international chemical & textiles company, Courtaulds.
With fluent Spanish, I set about my first day with great enthusiasm.
It came as a shock to a 20 year old me, to find that they were all talking a different language - Catalan.
I quickly had to adapt and learn.
That temporary job turned into a permanent home, I married here and had my amazing daughter Clara,
beautiful inside and out and multi-lingual too.
I now live in a suburb of Barcelona with my Irish husband Peter.
We set up home here, many moons ago.
I hope you love the city as much as we do.