” You’re going home! ” Dad announced out of the blue.
On his usual return home over a lunchtime and before his customary nap came this bombshell!
“Your mum and I have decided that it’s becoming far too dangerous for you to be here and that you are to go home with Louise and stay with Auntie Freda”
I was shocked.
I’d overheard on several occasions, mum and dad talking about things about the situation here.
It was far beyond my understanding of the politics here in the Congo and I was blissfully unaware of what was going on around me. But apparently the situation here was decidedly dodgy.
” You’ve always wanted to go to boarding school and this is what is going to happen, until such time as your mum and I can come back to England permanently”.
Wow! Now this was exciting!
It’s true I’d always wanted to go, having read so many adventure stories from my library of books.
Could this be happening?!
Mum and dad had already contacted Auntie Freda, their close friend and she was going to look into
suitable schools for me.
And I was to leave with Louise on her return to this new job in London.
There was to be a huge party!!!
A celebration of Louise and I leaving and whereby all our friends could come and see us off.
It was all happening very quickly.
It was a beautiful warm moonlit evening, the scent of Frangipani heavy in the air.
All the doors of the house were open and exterior lights were on.
Vincent in his poncho was marching up and down the drive with a stick over his shoulder ready and waiting to direct arriving cars of our guests. He looked very ridiculous but he was having lots of fun.
A table had been set up in the hall by the entrance, laden with drinks of all description and was being manned by Dzio to serve peopple as they came in.
Michel had been drafted in, Terry and Odettes chef to help with the catering.
In the dining room the table had been beautifully prepared with Michel’s buffet.
The dogs were running around excitedly and music was playing from Louises record player.
Rod Stewart was belting out Maggie May.
The atmosphere was great and the guests started to arrive.
Martine arrived with her family as did many other people from the factory and the house soon filled up despite all our space.
Martine was happy to be partying but sad to hear that I was leaving. We’d grown exceedingly close and she was like a sister to me.
The alcohol was flowing and the dancing started.
Martine and I were DeeJaying and totally in charge of what was played.
Vincent was doing a grand job of directing traffic outside, adopting a very superior and authorative role, with his stick and marching up and down some more, to make sure each car was in its place. He was actually very drunk!
Unbeknownst to mum and dad, the alcohol wasnt just flowing upstairs, it was flowing downstairs as well.
The staff including Vincent were helping themselves to the dregs of the guests glasses and were having a party all of their own!
It didnt matter, the evening was a huge success, it went on till the early hours and even Martine and I were allowed to stay up for the duration.
It has to be said that Vincents direction of guests leaving in their cars at the end of the party was not as efficient as it was upon their arrival!!
We were finally leaving this beautiful and charming country and taking with us some treasured memories, ones which so few could ever hope to experience.
All packed and ready to go except for my toys which would come later.
Mum and dad were waving like mad from the airport lounge window as Louise and I boarded the KLM flight home.
I didn’t know when I’d see them again.
I would miss my beloved Tina. She would be coming home too but would have to endure quarantine back home in England.
I was going to have to stay with mum and dads friends till they sent me to school, who knows where in the coming September.
Then I would be starting a whole new adventure at boarding school.
Kinshasa, The World.
You’ll never guess what?!!
I’m coming home!
Yes, you red that correcktly!
By the time you get this leter, I will be back in england.
Cant wait to visit you and we can go sliding down the Lea on cardboard boxes again and go to Claytons sweet shop.