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The Show: 25

The weeks following the delivery of Jackie's package were a journey into the past for me. The catalogue essay was now almost writing itself. But it was still only partially complete. I had tracked down Bill Travis who now was living in Portsmouth in the UK. Although in his 90s he was mentally sharp and still actively pursuing his dreams of wealth and success. He was making plans to return to live in the Seychelles and he was traveling the world trying to sell a mysterious device he had invented to locate minerals with sound waves. Over the course of several long Skype calls he recounted story after story about my father, Gisele, Jackie, Somalia and Mombasa. The more I uncovered of this story of mine the more I realized that it was time to do something that I had avoided doing since returning to East Africa. I needed to revisit Mombasa.
"How do you feel about that?" asked Clarissa. I think she was trying to get me to show some emotion about the events that were unfolding. I thought about it and decided that 'nonchalant and pleased' would be a good description of how I felt! However, Clarissa wasn't convinced by my cool attitude.
So, she and I travelled to Mombasa - a town I had not seen or visited since 1964. I was very surprised how unchanged it was. Everywhere I looked I saw ghosts. My father, my mother, myself, school friends, Klavs, Bill. Only the Manor Hotel was gone. Everywhere else was the same. Although smaller looking than I remembered all of the props and scenery in the drama that was my childhood were still there and remarkably intact, welcoming me back as though I had never left. That night we stayed at the Nyali Beach Hotel and my sleep was disturbed by some vivid, nightmarish dreams. Dreams that had me looking out of a window above Fontanella restaurant, dreams of me walking to Ras Serani with a letter for my father, dreams of a big black dog called Klavs. In the middle of the night I woke up disorientated and bathed in sweat. For a moment I was convinced that all intervening years had just been a dream and I was back in 1964, that I had never left Mombasa!
The Show: 26 ►

1/ : Fort Jesus and the waterfront.
An image of Paul Augustinus standing on a path leading towards the looming bulk of Fort Jesus in the middle ground. In the far distance the old hospital can be seen
2/ : English Point, opposite Fort Jesus.
A Paul Augustinus image of the wide channel between the Island of Mombasa and the mainland where on the other side there is a small lighthouse at the entrance to the Indian Ocean
3/ : I had friends that lived here. Vasco da Gama St.
An image of a narrow street lined with old Arab styled buildings that are hundreds of years old. A small distinctive mosque can be seen half way along. It is the oldest mosque in East Africa
4/ : I walk through the Old Town. Right here 'Sammy Going South' scenes were shot in 1962 with me as a stand in.
An image of Paul Augustinus walking down a narrow street in the ancient Old Town which was called Vasco da Gama street in the 1960s
5/ : Fort Mansions entrance. One of my homes in 1963/4.
An image of Paul Augustinus looking in through the gated entrance to a 1950s apartment building. Above the door one can just make out the words Fort Mansions which is spelt out using small brass inlay lettering, some letters of which are missing.
6/ : My old flat seen from the street below.
An image of the top floor of a 1950s apartment block. This Paul Augustinus image shows where the balcony, pantry window, kitchen window, bathroom window, and living room were situated. A photograph of Paul Augustinus standing on the same balcony looking out at the old town of Mombasa taken in 1964 is shown as well
7/ : City House: My Fontanella Flat - then and now.
An 2010 Paul Augustinus image of a 1950s building in central Mombasa
8/ : Entrance leading to my Fontanella flat.
An image of Paul Augustinus looking up a dingy staircase towards some elevator doors
9/ : This notice board would have had our name on it in 1962/3.
An image of a very scruffy, now unused residents board mounted on the wall with slots where tennants names would have been displayed
10/ : The tobacconist shop in the entrance is still there, and same family running it.
An image of  Paul Augustinus posing for a photograph with the present owner of the tobaconist shop
11/ : The Fontanella restaurant. I lived here in the 1960s.
An image of  Paul Augustinus standing in the circular courtyard at the centre of City House, where the Fontanella Restaurant was and still is located. He is looking up at the second floor flat where he lived in 1963. Looking out of his flat window the younger Paul often observed people at the tables below who he knew were something to do with his own father

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