"Colonial Swansong - A Mem's Memoirs"
It used to be said that the sun never set on the British Empire. All around the world, territories and islands owed allegiance to Britain and expatriate men and women spent their working lives making sure everything went smoothly. Thousands of colonial servants and foreign service staff of Cable & Wireless and other companies were expected to go to far-flung corners of the world without argument. Their salaries were not large and many postings were to places which lacked the most basic amenities. They had to cope with heat, monotony, loneliness and often disease as well as problems involved in their work. Children had to be sent back home for their education. After the 2nd World War more and more of these territories sought independence and became nations in their own right. Whereas Cable & Wireless formerly had dozens of foreign Stations, now it has almost none. Their swansong is sounding across the world.
'Colonial Swansong' is a continuation of 'The Lingering Eye' and deals with further foreign postings to Hong Kong, Bahrain, Jamaica and back to Hong Kong for ten more years. Many topical events are mentioned... the Cultural Revolution in China and the burning of the liner Queen Elizabeth in Hong Kong harbour; the Iraqi revolution and the killing of the young King Feisal; Castro's Cuba and the missile crisis; independence in Jamaica and the death of Kennedy (and Marilyn Monroe). Colonial life is described with all its benefits and shortcomings.
"Just back from a lovely holiday where I had the chance to read your book which I loved....what a life. So much of the day to day detail of colonial life in those days. We were so lucky to have lived in those times despite the deprivations of the era."
"I have read your book and enjoyed it. It is especially interesting to those who know the places you are writing about, considering how much things have changed since. It is a record of a way of life that is no more."
"Congratulations on your book! I enjoy anecdotal stuff and the idea of other folks' experiences."
"Loved your book - it felt as though I travelled around with you to all those foreign places, meeting all those interesting people. You must have such phenomenal energy!"
"I read your book straight through and enjoyed it very much. An interesting insight into the lives of so many 'mems'!"
"I very much enjoyed reading your book. It brought back many happy memories of overseas life. It painted a picture that all foreign service staff will recognize and was full of anecdotes and insights into the kind of life we led."