My mother has written a most wonderful memoir which we have just released on Amazon on the Kindle Format.

She was born in Burma, in Rangoon in the early twenties and lived there until the Japanese invasion in 1942. Her family first went out to India in the 1840s and the book covers those first years, using what she was able to find out from relatives from when she was a child, and then goes into huge detail about what it was like living in Burma as the child of a very ordinary family.

This is not the story of colonial arrogance or of British rule – she went to school with people of every background, Burmese, Japanese, German, English, Irish, Chinese, and their lives were thoroughly mixed up with those people around them. She tells of how they moved from house to house as their fortunes changed, of my Grandfather’s involvement with the local community, including his involvement with saving the life of Sir Paw Tun, the Burmese Prime Minister, and how he ran aid and arms for the Americans to the Chinese rebels.

She also tells of her schools, of the food they ate, of the people they met and knew. She tells of tigers and monkeys and parrots, of dust roads, old cars and door to door trades people.

It is a very personal tale so far removed from the histories that draws the reader in to a way of life long gone from this world.  And my mother is a stunningly good writer Рit is a highly enjoyable read!

 

Prawn Balachaung from ChintheI do not often recommend products, but this range of Burmese products from Chinthe in London should not be missed.

My Mother was born and brought up in Rangoon (now Yangon) in Burma in the nineteen twenties. Descended from good Irish stock, her life was very different from the classic, often distorted view of the British in India that is portrayed on TV and film. Her father was a local garage owner and mechanic (and sometime inventor) who walked out of Burma when the Japanese invaded and my mother’s upbringing was neither isolated nor exclusive. She shared her schooling with Burmese, Indians, Japanese, Chinese, Europeans, Australians, Siamese (this was before Thailand) and others and she enjoyed the markets and people of Rangoon and the Hills in the north, all of which left their mark indelibly imprinted upon her heart. She has written a book about it all – one day I may find a publisher who is willing to print this precious moment of life in the far east from someone who has no fame outside of her family. (It seems that publishers are only interested if you are famous in this celebrity lead world.) Continue reading