Life and work in Kenya: Muguga[1]

A Bushsnob in Africa

The next time I met Matt, after my return from Intona Ranch, he was very positive about my collaboration with Alan at Intona ranch. That was good news as I did not need to present to him all the arguments I had prepared. However he tersely informed me that there was still one more hurdle: a final meeting with all institutions to settle the issue. Apparently, a new idea had come to the fore that needed discussion. The Director of KEVRI from Western Kenya had proposed an alternative area of work in Busia, his home area, of course. “You would live at a former leprosy hospice there”, said Matt just managing to suppress a chuckle! I was not amused at his Scottish sense of humour.

The meeting was large and long and then it was closed. I was dismayed as for me, nothing was decided and I felt like holding…

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Kenya: Muguga[1]

A Bushsnob in Africa

The last night at the Fairview Hotel was a good one and I enjoyed my breakfast in the garden, where I noticed that birdlife in Nairobi was prolific and that there were not only several bird species but there were also large numbers of them! I did not know their names yet, apart from the ubiquitous sparrows that I knew from Uruguay. I was amazed to see birds so tame, in particular a kind of iridescent blue ones with cinnamon chests[2] that would come to my breakfast table expecting something from me! “Cheeky ones”, I thought.

The access to the Fairview Hotel. The access to the Fairview Hotel.

It was light by 06:00 hours and dark by 19:00 hours so, unless you covered your ears, it was impossible not to be woken up by the early loud bird chorus. As it is customary, a cup of early morning tea is brought to your room and…

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CBI – British receive POW’s / Vietnam in the picture

Pacific Paratrooper

Japanese POWs in Malaya

“From May onwards, prisoners in a terrible state came in daily,” recorded a British gunner unit in Burma, “many of them armed with nothing more dangerous than bamboo spears, trembling with a mixture of malaria and humiliation.”

British soldiers in Burma

But if some proved ready to quit, others did not.  To the end, most Japanese who lost their ships at sea deliberately evaded Allied rescuers.  On the deck of HMS Saumarez, destroyer Captain Martin Power was directing rescue operations after sinking a Japanese convoy off the Nicobars, when he suddenly heard a “clang” against the ship.

Andaman and Nicobars Islands

Peering over the side, he saw a bald, heavily built Japanese man clinging to a scrambling net with one hand, while hammering the nose of a shell against the hull with the other.  Power drew his pistol, leaned over and whacked the man’s head.

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La nuit des morts-vivants


The zombie fox is back, and not only has he brought back-up in the form of three equally shouty buddies, but they have been raising absolute hell in our street at night with their part-reanimated corpse, part-Velociraptor shrieking. I have seen/heard them with my own eyes/ears and, a few mornings ago, I found paw prints on our car windscreen which were much too large and too muddy to belong to cats. It seems unlikely that the dog walkers of TW8 would suddenly decide to use parked cars as an obstacle course, so I can only assume that Monsieur Renard and his comrades are to blame. 

Needless to say, this has made our street quite an unnerving place after dark. And, naturellement, it has also made Louis Catorze more desperate than ever before to defy us and go outside at The Front.

As you are aware, he can hear the…

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Vintage Detective Novels

images  I spotted this recently  in the window of our local Secret Garden Bookshop.  I thought there is an author whose name was familiar – Freeman Wills Crofts.  My husband had talked of reading his books years ago.  So I bought it in its striking new reissue dust jacket.  Bingo – Ian (my husband) not only recognized the name but also proceeded to tell me that he and Crofts went to the same school, Campbell College in Belfast Northern Ireland.  Crofts would have been a contemporary of Ian’s father and uncle who also went to Campbell.  I wonder if they knew him.  Further coincidence was that Crofts was born in Dublin near where we lived for many years.  I love the way paths cross in many unexpected ways.