Nora & Captain St. John; Bombay, Maharashtra, India

Nora’s tale continue’s in another snippet from the ‘The quick red fox jumps over the lazy brown dog.’  If you can’t be bothered with the read, click the picture above,

 Captain Dick St. John had retired his Commission immediate upon his grotesque discovery of his wife, and the chronic ill health of his daughter. Whilst not welcomed by the regiment, his discharged was pushed through on compassionate grounds.  Six weeks after his return from Northern Ireland, Captain St. John was a civilian for the first time in eighteen years.  To say he felt trepidation at the fact, would be akin to saying Genghis Khan only had a minor interest in gaining property.  

Nora, when found by her father was a cyanotic blue, and via ambulance arrived, and was subsequently admitted into Barry Community Hospital.  The wee bairn was found malnourished, hypothermic, and suffering pneumonia of the right lung.  She was to remain an inpatient for the following two and a half months.

Over the following months, and once Nora had left hospital, the ex-maroon beret wearing Dick St. John left Wales, returning to his childhood home of Stirling in central Scotland. Dicks aging, widowed, mother taking providing a temporary home for him and the wee Nora.

A further two months on, the ex-Para, unable to find work locally, found a midlevel security position with Burmah-Shell Oil Storage and Distributing Company of India Limited.  He and Nora moved to Bombay; a house was set up, and one maid come cook, a gardener come driver, and finally a Nanny were installed.

Dick found the job immensely enjoyable, they pay almost treble of that he received whilst serving, proving himself to be an extremely competent well like operator.  As such he was quickly promoted. This would remain the norm throughout his working life. 

Nora, now toddling, flourished in the warm clime; the house became a home. The years that followed had Dick’s employer change hands, yet his role and home remained the same; and by the time the Govt. of India had acquired 100% equity share holdings of his previous civil employers, Dick was promoted again to a position, no longer midlevel, but stepping into Executive roles.

Whilst Dick was winning on the professional front, Nora was kicking goals of her own. Thanks to her surrounding environment, and the cultural backgrounds of both house staff, combined with surrounding society, unconsciously Nora absorbed language like a sponge. Resultant to this, Nora was multilingual, and prattled away in Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati and English. Her fluency and age uniquely left her without a ‘first’ language; something Dick encouraged the staff, and later her school to maintain within her. Aged four and a half years, her reading and writing abilities in all her spoken languages, rivalled that of children two years her senior; numeracy proved little obstacle to her.

Yet, there was an education that Dick himself added to Nora.  The understanding of threat, and the tools required in overcoming it; the means to do so, and a less conventional approach than society would deem appropriate.

Click the picture as is the norm.  I have no idea what will follow.

Hamish

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