The land of shattered dreams!

HAD A DREAM: Jason Heppenstall lost it all in Spain. CREDIT: EWN

“I have lost money twice in Spain, the first time hurt after being robbed and the second time was drawn out. But I don’t have any regrets.” These are the words of Jason Heppenstall who launched the Olive Press completely by chance in May, 2006.

He was following a dream which ultimately cost him everything within two short years. But rather than let it destroy him, he turned it to his advantage and hasn’t looked back.

Jason explained how his kaleidoscope adventure, which led him to the dream life in Cornwall, began.

“I met my wife Michelle 24 years ago. She is Danish and we were living in her homeland where I started reading Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart. I was attracted to the romance of Spain in 2003/04, so we decided to do it, move to Spain, to Orgiva in the Alpuharra region of Andalucia.

“A lot of people move to Spain but do not know what to do. That’s what I was like, I had no experience in journalism but I dreamed up and launched Olive Press at the kitchen table. I taught myself graphic design and got on with it.

 “It was definitely a challenge. Two years later my shareholding was bought out by the current owner Jon Clarke.”

Read Jason’s new book, Olive Press, News From the Land of the Misfits, to find out how this chapter of his life evolved – including the torrid tales of him being a ‘wannabe’ investigative reporter, well actually the driver of the getaway car!

Jason added: “I believed at the time the sale signified the end of my dreams, little did I know it was actually the beginning of a great new chapter in my life.

“The sale went through quite painlessly, as did the move back to Denmark where I became an editor, save for the heartbreak I felt at the time.”

But it was not just the sale of his dream that was upsetting for Jason, it was the also the enforced loss of the family cat James – a beautiful feline friend who couldn’t be sold or given away to the new owner.

Readers will understand when they read the following extract from the book:

“I explained my predicament with the kittens, saying how nobody wanted them with their eyes glued shut.

“Why don’t you just do what the Spanish do?” he (Jon) asked.

“What’s that?” I said, tensing that I probably didn’t want to know.

“Throw them against a wall. Bam! Far less cruel than drowning them in a sink, or so our gardener says.”

Hence why James remained in the empty family house until he moved back to England after the sale of Jason’s property five years later. The much-loved cat’s back was definitely never going to be up against the wall!

Jason went on: “I don’t have any regrets. Although for me, the Olive Press was a personal failure, it worked out well for me and led me onto a new career in writing. It also gave me a great story. “

You can find Olive Press, News From the Land of the Misfits on in paperback or the kindle edition.




FacebookTwitterRedditWhatsAppTelegramLinkedInEmailCopy Link
Go Back
Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page