First - may I wish you all a Very Happy New Year. Regular followers and friends will know I've been away on holiday and this is the first time I've been with internet facilities for some weeks.
My weeks away took me to Singapore, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. I'd not visited either Burma or Indonesia before, but I remembered Malaysia and Singapore with fond memories as I had spent a large part of my childhood there.
During my stay in Singapore city, I thought it might be fun to find my old boarding school...I knew it was still standing as a friend had visited it herself about fifteen years ago. I hadn't been back since 1966! I recalled the old address, but felt a bit daunted as the school had been sited in a residential area and as you might know, Singapore city is almost all high rise buildings these days.
I needn't have worried. Despite forty-eight years having passed I found the road I was looking for AND the school! Back in my day, the building had belonged to the British Government, nowadays it is a college for Axa Insurance.
In the photograph above, you'll see the main house as it is now, and I was astounded to see that it is exactly the same as back during my schooldays. My dormitory window is the fourth (upper) from left. Although I wasn't allowed inside I did peek into the front doors under the canopied archway. There was one difference - the old panelling had been covered with white paint, and this was a shame as the panelling hid a secret behind it.
Back during world War Two, the house had been commandeered by the Japanese Army as a billet for officers. The house had been the residency for a member of the British high Commission. The story goes that two children living at the house hid behind the panelling, under the stairs, when the Japanese invaded.They were so frightened to come out of hiding after listening the carnage going on outside that they died in each others arms.
This story has stayed with me ever since I first heard it, and it was the basis for my book, The Bamboo Mirror (a collection of short stories, in which the full story is told). The Bamboo Mirror was the beginning of the Diana Rivers Mysteries, leading to The Assassins' Village and the second in the series, Children of the Plantation, which is set up country in Malaya on a rubber plantation.
So you see...all are connected by one means or another.
The second photograph shows part of the grounds. The jungle plants have been allowed to reclaim the land, and all the other buildings which I played in: a gymnasium, small theatre and netball/badminton courts have been pulled down. You can see the footprint still standing in the concrete.
My sojourn back into my past was full of nostalgic memories and I'm so pleased I made the effort. Happy times!
Thanks for dropping by.
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