11 – American tinned milk, nappies and the Count

LT-Oceania - kongwa2london.comWe were booked on Lloyd Triestino’s Oceania from Bombay to Venice. Mum was invited to sit at the captain’s table again, thanks to her looks. There was no shortage of volunteers to look after a beautiful woman travelling alone, well not quite, she had me.

After our arrival in Venice, we took the train to Paris via Milan. In Paris, a detachment of American naval officers was only too pleased to escort my mother around the sights of the city. For myself, they provided much needed milk – the tinned Carnation variety which was a substitute for buffalo milk and they also provided a babysitter.

Soon it was time to take the boat train to London. Now, due to its name, my mother thought they put the train on the boat, but they didn’t. She arrived at Calais with sixteen pieces of luggage, nappies and the baby’s clothes hung up to dry in the corridor and of course, a baby. To the rescue, came a handsome Austrian Count, who chivalrously helped us to make it to the ferry on time.

We stayed with my uncle and aunt who were now based in Kent, my siblings were living with them. After receiving an invitation to Queen Elizabeth’s coronation along with tens of thousands of others, mum ventured over to Buckingham Palace – Christopher Robin and Alice must have been lost in the crowds.

Dad tore himself away from the predatory women of Dodoma and came to England on the B.I. (British India Steam Navigation Company) passenger ship S.S. Kenya. After gathering up the whole family, we returned to Tanganyika by sea on the M.V. Boschfontein. One of our stops was Port Sudan and while touring the city, we bumped into the very midwife who helped deliver me.

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