This is me at the age of two or three. I appear to be remonstrating with Pooh; my constant companion. You will notice that Pooh is in a handcart, as he was a year younger than I, and had not developed enough to run around as much as I and the black puppy who is involved in this little domestic scene.
Note, if you will, that the building in the background appears to be half brick, but with a tented roof. This is due to the fact that the mise en scene, as it were, is Baluchistan, British India, Quetta, the capital city of Baluchistan, was noted for earthquakes, and at that time the area was recovering from a massive earthquake which had occurred a couple of years before. it was too dangerous to sleep in houses with tiled roofs, as they might collapse and kill those inside. Daytime, fine, but at night, Oh no.
This leads me easily into stating that I am an Anglo Indian (My father was English; my mother was Welsh) because I was born in India, of British parentage.
To lend some confusion, that part of India became Pakistan on Partition in 1947, so I am officially Anglo Indian or Anglo Pakistani.
But Anglo Indian or Anglo Pakistani, when the Quit India people decided to throw the British out of the Sub Continent, they threw this baby out with the bathwater. I was left with little; no homeland; no Krishna, the bearer who was the person I loved most in the world... No feelings of belonging; just a mouthful of different languages that I had learned in the first eight years of my life.
So my parents and I landed in Perth, West Australia where I spent the rest of my growing up, until coming back to the UK when I was twenty-five.
I had taught for three years, after leaving Teachers' College in Claremont, a suburb of Perth, West Australia. Upon arriving in the United Kingdom I taught, almost exclusively, in the same school for the next twenty-nine years. It was at Charles Dickens Junior Primary & Infants; an old Victorian school building very close to LondonBridge, and near the Elephant and Castle, London SE1. I remained there for the rest of my teaching career, until I was retired, disabled, in 1994.
I spoke Barohi which my Baluch Ayah had taught me before my parents took me away from her because they worried that I wouldn't speak English.
I spoke Welsh from having lived in my Welsh Mamgu's (Grandmother's) house in Welsh speaking Crynant, Glamorganshire, South Wales. My mother only speaking Welsh till she was about fifteen.
I spoke Urdu and Hindi (Basically the same really) because I lived in India and most of us did, anyway.
I spoke Marathi because Krishna was Marathi speaking and we lived in Dehu Road Cantonment which is near Poona (now Pune) in Maharashtra Province.
Oh Yes. And one other: English. They were the only jewels that I could wear, and my shame is that now I only speak English. But I love words, and hope, by using them, I may entertain you.
In my hubs, you may find occasional references to Twilight Lawns plc. This is a Retirement Home for Gentlefolk, situated in the lovely county of Surrey. It is run by a certain Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh, a lady of exceptional breeding and with a family tree that puts the Windsors to shame.
The Residents of Twilight Lawns are well connected, hyphenated and on the whole, from 'Old Money' but there are several who may be impecunious, but know all the right people, and are no doubt connected to the best families.
Long Live the British Class System.
Dear Relatives, Friends, Visitors and Residents,
If you have enjoyed visiting Twilight Lawns plc, but would like to know a little more about us, one has pleasure in announcing that Maude, our Dear Maude, has compiled a series of anecdotes, tales and minor histories concerning our beloved Home.
Clever Maude, with the assistance of Raj and his computer, and also having access to the filing cabinet in Nurse Smythe’s Office, has put together what these modern technology chaps call a Kindle, or eBook.
(Heavens what bizarre words they use nowadays)
This is not, one must hasten to add, a real book, with real paper and bound in real, genuine Morocco leather, but one must move with the times one supposes.
This Kindle artefact is available on line (whatever that should mean) under the title of ‘The Twilight Lawns Chronicles’ by Ian Dorking-Clark,
(This is either a nom de plume employed by Maude and Raj or is an actual resident, one of our more literary old gentlemen, currently residing in the Lord Kitchener Wing.
‘The Twilight Lawns Chronicles’ by Ian Dorking-Clark
Now available on Kindle, eBook, etc. See on line & at all reputable eBook sellers.
Go to Amazon and type in 'The Twilight Lawns Chronicles'
or for UK
Your obedient servant,
Hilda Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh (Matron)