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Out of Africa

Leaving Africa part II

When our time in Bunia came to an end in the summer of 1985 we were quite ready to go back to Cambridge.  It had been the most difficult of our postings, primarily because communications were so limited and the sense we had of being in the middle of nowhere was never harder to live … Continue reading »

Categories: Out of Africa | 2 Comments

Leaving Africa

I have written a fair bit about our life in Kenya and Zaire in the eighties, when Ben was working for a multi-national company: our arrival from England with first one, then two babies.  There will be more to come but today I have been thinking about our departures from those countries.  This is perhaps … Continue reading »

Categories: Out of Africa | 4 Comments

Three years on

A little over three years ago, without quite knowing what I was letting myself in for, I arrived at the Faber offices in Bloomsbury for the first meeting of their new Writing Family History course. I had signed up the summer before and had not given it much thought until the day arrived for that … Continue reading »

Categories: How we write, Journeys, Out of Africa | Tags: | 1 Comment

New year, new beginnings

Saturday of last week and, at the first meeting of our writing group for 2013, we are invited to share our resolutions for the coming year with regard to our writing projects; any other resolutions, perhaps wisely, being kept (or probably not kept) in confidence.  So we pass round the table and mostly the resolutions … Continue reading »

Categories: Journeys, Out of Africa | Tags: | 3 Comments

Blue Tuesday

Joseph Heller wrote that ‘every writer has trouble writing’ and that is what is afflicting me at the moment, not that I would call myself a writer, more of scribbler, and that only occasionally.   But it seems to me that re-reading my letters from Africa and  trying to make a story from them, or a … Continue reading »

Categories: How we write, Out of Africa | Tags: , | 1 Comment

This is your story

When I embarked on the Faber course, Writing Family History, that spawned this blog, there were some texts we were recommended one being Jacob’s Gift by Jonathan Freedland. In it Freedland posed a question to a rabbi about what Jewishness meant to him. The rabbi replied, ‘This is your family, this is your story, this is … Continue reading »

Categories: Books we've read, How we write, Out of Africa | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Servants in Apartheid South Africa

I ’m writing about South Africa – or should I say, my family life there as it was when we were waited on by servants, and Apartheid ruled.  So this gives me Time and Place to start with, as well as dramatis personae.  These are taken as exemplars of this strange world  which we took … Continue reading »

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Missionary in Green Wellies

Living opposite us in Bunia there was a delightful Irishwoman called Maisie.  She had been a teacher in another life and now, having felt she had been called by God, (it happened unexpectedly on a ferry crossing between Ireland and England, where she was going on holiday), she had come to Bunia, under the auspices … Continue reading »

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Our book launch! A year in the making…

Thursday, 28th June was the launch of our Writing Family History Anthology. It was hosted by Faber Academy at their historic office in Bloomsbury (London). We each had the opportunity to speak about our project and read an excerpt from our stories. The room of family, friends and agents (!) were impressed, intrigued and left … Continue reading »

Categories: How we write, Journeys, Legacies, Men of God, and of Commerce, Out of Africa, Strong Women | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Our Arrival in Bunia

There is a postcard that I treasure, a picture taken by the photographer, Norman Parkinson of his wife, Wenda, a fashion model. It is entitled The art of travel and as I look at it now it seems absurdly romantic, even for the 1950s. In it Wenda is walking under the propeller of a plane, … Continue reading »

Categories: Out of Africa | Tags: , , | 1 Comment