We moved house at some point in 1971. I think my parents deliberately moved house during term time rather than waste the school holidays as I don’t recall the actual move.

Muthaiga was (is) an upmarket, generally expatriate suburb of Nairobi. It is characterised by the Muthaiga Club, affiliated to the Mombasa Club and one of the last bastions of colonial times. We lived next door to the club, adjacent to its golf course and swimming pool which was very handy.


By this time, my father was the financial director in what had now become McKenzie Dalgety, and our life style began to reflect this promotion. It became common for my parents to entertain various VIPs over from the UK and to put on lavish dinner parties. The house was perfect for this as it was very spacious, with a large lounge and dining room, a guest room with en suite and extensive grounds. Off the lounge there was a little ‘snook’ and a study. The large patio at the front of the house overlooked a beautiful garden that featured stunning bougainvillea and rose garden. At the back of the house there was a vegetable patch and two or three avocado trees. Looking at Google Earth, it is possible to make out a swimming pool that was added after we left.


I think the only thing that used to annoy my parents about the house was that it was a corner plot and the local ‘watu’ (local Africans) used to meet up on the patch of grass where the two roads met and pass the time of day. That in itself wasn’t the problem, however when they went their separate ways they would continue to shout to each other across our plot.

My father had many years ago taught himself to play the piano by ear. I think he could only play in one key, but that didn’t matter. I had many happy evenings accompanying him using my brushes, on the drums.

Sadly when we returned on holiday in 2004 there were locked gates at the front drive and a permanent ‘askari’ (guard). A sign of the changing times.


It was without doubt the happiest period of our time in Kenya. We made good family friends with Peter and Marie Mollar, who my parents taught Bridge and went on extensive Safaris to different parts of Kenya, including the northern frontier district (NFD), which was generally off the beaten track.

We also joined the Kenya Fly Fishers Club and spent many happy weekends fishing for trout in the foothills of the Aberdares, near Mount Kenya. There were two lodges on the river, each built out of wooden logs, fully staffed and very comfortable. Evenings were spent around a log fire, with plenty to drink discussing ‘the one that got away!’