Alison can always be found on Wednesday morning on the tennis court at the club playing women’s doubles. The four ladies are dressed neatly in their whites and short skirts, with tanned legs exposed that are not quite as shapely as they once were. ‘Well played!’ pronounces an enthusiastic spectator as they leave the court, ‘Well, some of us played well but others were not on form today’ Alison says as she shoots a sideways glance with barely disguised daggers at her partner.
By the time the round of cappuccinos arrive on the manicured clubhouse lawns afterwards, tensions have dissipated but Alison has made a mental note to swap partners next week. Alison grimaces when she realises her coffee is not as piping hot as she would as she would like, but she decides not to mention it to the waitress this time.
Conversation turns to dinner parties and it transpires that Alison is the expert on what to serve, how prepare it, how to present it and where to buy it. In fact, she is pretty much the undisputed knowledge on everything in Kenya and she knows everyone there is to know. It’s useless to argue when she gets her facts slightly skewed, as she does not brook any argument whatsoever.
The remainder of Alison’s time is spent playing golf, bridge and hard at work fund raising for local charities. She is fortunate that both her son Simon and daughter Acacia are still living in Kenya, so she manages to see them and the grandchildren when they come over for their regular Sunday lunches at the old family home which sits on five acres in the Nairobi suburbs. Her other daughter, Tana (named after the Tana River in Kenya) is currently living in England and so she goes to visit her and her husband, spending a month or so ‘helping out’ every summer and catching up with the few friends and relatives that she still knows in the UK. It’s a shame that they live in such a comparatively small house over there, but they seem happy and perhaps one day Tana will find a way to come back to Kenya.