It is with the greatest humility that I shout about the fact you, my dear readers of this blog, have taken me to the dizzy heights of 150,000 hits, meaning that the stories have been read 150,000, by new and old and faithful readers alike. My readers come from the United States, Russia, Australia, Canada, UK, India, Ireland, Kenya, Peru, Germany and lots of other places.
When I first launched the blog, I never had the slightest inkling that it would reach such dizzy heights. The blog was my own safe place, a refuge to escape to when my heart was breaking, the sobs were turning into floods of tears, or when I was hurtling into or burning up with severe pain following the loss of my late wife Rufina.
Writing was a way of exercising my mind, reliving those wonderful memories of Kenya, its people, its places, events and, most importantly, all my friends and acquaintances. It also provided me the freedom to follow my own journalistic instincts and investigate and write about whatever caught my searching eyes.
The Blog also reconnected me with some people around the world: some very, very old friends from East Africa, the UK, US, Goa and many other points on the globe. Similarly, I am grateful to have my life enriched by new friends, among them: John Noronha (a brilliant storyteller, now living in Toronto), Francis Noronha (no relation, a former teacher from Kenya, also living in Toronto). Among my friends, I prize Mervyn Maciel (author Bwana Karani and others, a walking-talking encyclopedia of colonial history, especially the civil service), Braz Menezes (prize winning architect and author of the Matata trilogy, the third of this acclaimed series will be released any day now), Joe Antao from Perth, Western Australia who reignited my link with his family but especially with his late brother, the legendary Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist, Seraphino Antao. This association gave birth to Stars Next Door, a tribute to sports persons and musicians from East Africa. Joe provided the bulk of the material relating to his late famous brother. I am not sure if my journalist colleague Norman Da Costa is exactly a reader of this blog but together we have paid tribute to several of our fallen hockey idols and I have been invigorated by his contribution and the wealth of information he brings to the stories featured in the blog. Most of them have end up in either Yesterday in Paradise or Stars Next Door. Others like Antoinette D'Souza, Suzanne George, Julie Laval, Roland Laval, Merwin D'Souza, and many, many others have contributed story ideas or bits of information I have been able to add to. Other names will come to mind and I will add these as a shrinking memory recalls.
Sure, I started the blog but in the end it really belongs to all of you. Over the past six months, I have been a bit lazy and have not really attended to the blog and stories have been few and far between. As a result I may have lost some avid readers. My only excuse is that producing Stars Next Door took a lot out of me and I need a break from writing to catch my breath back. I am happy to say I have since done that and I promise you I will do better in the next few months.