Tea, Tennis, and Turbulent Times

A Slice of Life

by Simon Watt



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 12/22/2017

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 488
ISBN : 9781543404845
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 488
ISBN : 9781543404852
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 488
ISBN : 9781543404838

About the Book

This is a true story of an ordinary boy who grew up to have what I believe to be an extraordinary tale to tell. This is the tale of a lad growing up in post-war Britain and of the trials and tribulations of life in a boarding school and an attempt to earn his wings at Cranwell.

This is also the account of how letters sent home over a fifteen-year period prompted the author to write his memoirs of these years spent in what is now Bangladesh and of the exciting, but often dangerous times of being caught up in the Indo-Pakistan War and the birth of a new nation—a slice of history barely remembered today.

This is about his experiences as a young tea planter adapting to the vagaries of a strange language and living conditions in a Third World country as well as the droughts and cyclones that at times resulted in so much loss of life and infrastructure, learning to live and adapt to the harsh and often bone-wearying humidity and heat of the monsoons but relishing the beauty and the blessing of the cooler winter months.

It’s a factual story of how tea in the 1960s and 1970s was produced from—‘two leaves and a bud’ to a perfect cup of tea, how sport and club life played a major part in helping to dispel the loneliness he felt at being often the only Britisher for many miles, and how his friendships were made, many of which endure to this day.

Simon Watt sets out the tale of his first thirty-five years in a frank and candid way. It is an honest, often moving account of his life up to that time. It is a book written with sincerity and humour while revealing a fascinating story.

About the Author

From Britain during the Blitz, boarding school from age 5 and the hardship of a peripatetic lifestyle in a military family Simon Watt grew up knowing that all he ever wanted to do was become a pilot.

But fate took a hand and he was to spend his whole working life on tea and coffee plantations.

The first 15 years of his working life, from 1960 to 1975, was spent as an assistant, then Estate Manager in the tea growing areas of East Pakistan. He was there through all the turbulent times associated with the Indo-Pakistan wars from which the modern day country of Bangladesh would emerge.

Subsequently, circumstances decreed that he leave the Indian subcontinent and he moved to Africa. First to Malawi as a Field Manager on a tea estate, then 4 years later, when his work permit was due to expire, to Zimbabwe as a General Manager on a tea and coffee estate in the east of the country. He was to spend 18 years in Zimbabwe. The last 10 years as a Manager on a coffee estate right on the border with Mozambique.

Finally deciding to retire, he immigrated to Western Australia, with his Australian wife, Sandra where they now live quietly near the beach south of Fremantle.