As I sit here and think of times gone by

I reminisce and let out a thoughtful sigh

Fifty years are gone and in the past

But the memories, like these words, are here to last


To the dentist father and teacher mother came the blonde arrival

I think there were times when Maggie doubted her survival

But with the help of house boys and the amahs

Life unfolded and with it life’s unexpected dramas


To Bir Fuqum and the house on the hill

Above a small fishing village which remains there still

Life was full of people, parties and picnics on the beach

Life’s rich tapestry about to unfold and so much to teach


It was during those days surrounded by sand

That this was to become the promised land

The barren rocks and crystal blue ocean

This was surely a young person’s love potion


Us kids frequented the Community hall

Where we played games of squash, badminton and generally had a ball

It was all about fun in the land of sun

As we danced and swam and partied by the ton


It was as hot as hell and the souq stunk

Some things as bad as an old dead skunk

Shopping trips were a mission to Big Aden

But on our return we came back fully laden


Scottish Country dancing, fancy dress parties and midnight swims

We’d even get dolled up to watch those old films

We learnt to smoke and raid the folks’ drinks cabinet

When the parents found out, that was that over – damn it


After LAPA it was off to the Isthmus school

Onto a bus with a lengthy journey we thought was so cool

Never a thought about the danger and the worry

We’d rush on and wave ‘goodbye’ with our  lunch boxes and childhood flurry


As the troubles got worse our excitement grew

We had no idea what was about to ensue

Off in the bus protected from bombs and the enemies tricks

Stopped en route by the British army who had mirrors on sticks


A torturous time was had by all

As parents said goodbye and waited for the call

Sometimes we got stranded in Khormaksar not able to get back

The mood could be particularly black


Boarding school was the next call

To leave behind us the paradise of Aden et al

An evacuation for kids and wives was the next event

Back to where we came from, we were all sent


The end of an era for the Little Aden kids

Where’s the best place to live, prey put in your bids

Most of us hanker for the past

Hanging on to our memories in the hope they can last


As I look back and think, God those time were good

Surrounded by people, beverage, laughter and food

I wouldn’t change anything for the world

As a complex but lucky adult has her word






Caroline Anderson  2006