It was almost half a century ago that Alan James first moved to the Costa del Sol. The year was 1969 and the 31-year-old Londoner had been lured out to sunny Spain by the real estate potential for expats - an industry that was about to boom.
Now the 81-year-old is preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his successful Costa del Sol based business, The Experience Group.
But the sun-soaked beaches of southern Spain that he now calls home are a far cry from his humble beginnings in post-war Britain.
Born in 1938, Alan can vividly remember the intense bombing of London and the Isle of Dogs, where his family lived.
"They were bombing every night," recalls Alan.
"I can remember being about three or four years old and sleeping in an Anderson shelter. I heard a huge bang and when I woke up in the morning the house next to us was completely missing.
"After that we were evacuated to Oxfordshire with my mother and two sisters. My father was taken prisoner in Sahara Libya as a desert rat in 1941, and was moved to a prisoner of war camp in Germany. He was missing presumed dead and was the longest surviving prisoner of war until he was released at the end of 1945."
After growing up in London, Alan studied Management Accounting and started working in the construction industry, where he described himself as a "high flyer."
While working in the UK, Alan met someone who talked about the real estate potential of expats in Spain.