When Mum was in her twenties she married and moved with Dad to Switzerland where she had my eldest brother. After a year there they moved to Barcelona and set up home renting part of a farm house in a suburb of the city.
Mum never really grasped the German language but became a fluent Spanish speaker. I remember Mum telling me about when she arrived, having a little toddler and another baby on the way. The señoras of the house would just chatter away to her until Mum eventually started understanding what they were saying. Soon Mum was fluent and had made great friends with the women of the house.
The family spent five years in Spain and as a result it became a real part of our lives growing up. I think that lust for life that Mum had was helped along by her Mediterranean experience.