Killing the Monster and Flinging him to the Public

1 Silver Oaks Road,  The Doctors House, on the Globe and Phoenix Mine (courtesy of Tess Banfield)

1 Silver Oaks Road, The Doctors House, on the Globe and Phoenix Mine (courtesy of Tess Banfield)


Killing the Monster and Flinging him to the Public  

I am greatly indebted to every one of you as readers and the many contributors who have shared comments, photos, paintings, short stories and unpublished manuscripts during the three and a half years I have been blogging oncecalledhome (192 blogs).

Your interaction greatly increased my source material. What emerged were true details, without critical comment, 500 words at a time, to stimulate the imagination of Rhodesians about their own past beyond nostalgia. I hope that it has taken my American readers away to a different British Colonial endeavor.

The blog was conceived to progress my quartet of novels:

Young Doc Rubenstein and his gentile theatre sister, Mavourneen, mismatched and married in the confusion of WWII, leave ominous South Africa. In a rough but exhilarating small Rhodesian town they discover themselves in the scope it offered for their initiative and ambitions.  Birth, love, death, idealism and loyalty are at stake.

Modernity, to which they are committed in their different ways, rushes upon the small nascent European society but its exclusive Britishness and pride misleads it as the great optimism in the country’s future teeters in the balance.

It is ‘a close run thing’. Political insight in the shape of the odd genius of Sir Edgar Whitehead, a man out of the top drawer of British diplomacy, and the brilliance of the small town doctor risk all to win through.  But hard men on both sides of the racial divide work against compromise.

Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.  Sir Winston Churchill.

The first of the quartet of novels will be available in the New Year.

Thanks again for your support.













  • charles

    Reply Reply November 23, 2013

    Diana, I have enjoyed these little snip views of a situation, perhaps similar in some ways to that I would have found had I accepted the offer of work in Kenya when I was around 20 years old…thanks. I look forward to your quartet…8-)

    • Diana

      Reply Reply November 23, 2013

      Ah, what might have been! Kenya was different, the play ground of European aristocracy, temporary. It was a colony administered by Whitehall, as was Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Southern Rhodesia was unique in that in 1923 it became a self governing settler colony-immigrants (not colonial officials) staked their lives on it and intended to stay.
      Thanks for all you support and encouragement over the years. It has meant a lot to me.

  • Ed Goldberg

    Reply Reply November 24, 2013

    Thanks so much for all the blogs Diana – I have really enjoyed them. Now I’m looking forward to the novels as they appear. I’m hoping they will also be available in Kindle form?

    • Diana

      Reply Reply November 26, 2013

      Ed, Thanks for the many materials you shared early on in this endeavor. Yes, the books will all be available on Kindle.

  • Tess Harris

    Reply Reply November 25, 2013

    Thanks for the interesting journey back in time. Looking forward to the first of your novels

    • Diana

      Reply Reply November 26, 2013

      Tess, thanks for all the wonderful photos and materials you and Phil scanned for me, which have proved so very useful. Busy tying up all the loose ends. Much more to every stage of this experience than I ever dreamed. Enjoying the process.

  • Maureen Paine

    Reply Reply December 3, 2013

    Thank you for all the stories. I’m going to miss my weekly ‘fix’ – I’ve very much enjoyed the stories and look forward to the books when they are published. They brought back so many memories. i don’t supose you know where I might obtain photos from QQJS from 1952? I wonder if any survive.

    • Diana

      Reply Reply December 4, 2013

      Maureen, I am glad you have enjoyed the vignettes to the last. “Spell Dictatorial’ is the best I can do for a QQJS picture of the teachers (they seemed like fixtures at the time, never changed or aged!) You might try the QQJS and QQHS facebook pages for more pics from earlier years.

  • Lauren Robinson

    Reply Reply April 12, 2014

    Could you help a stranger out? I would love to know what the B.C. Church Que Que, Southern Rhodesia, was? I’ve just recently discovered a relative, Lawrence Gerrard Lyons McNamara, B.S.A. Police, second son of Lieut.-Colonel and Mrs. J. D. McNamara, of 1, The Glen, Dry Hill Park-road, Tonbridge, married Frederica Eileen Davles/Davis there in March of 1939. What does the B.C. Stand for? What denomination was it?


    • Diana

      Reply Reply April 29, 2014

      Lauren, I don’t know of a B.C. Church in QQ. The main denominations were Presbyterian St. Stephens, Anglican St. Lukes and Catholic St Edwards. There was a Dutch Reformed community I believe, but don’t know where they congregated. There was a small Jewish community and Zionist Society but their Community Hall was not built until 1953. B.C could be Baptist Church, but I am not aware of it. B.C.= Before Christ to me. Sorry I cant be more helpful.

    • Jan Nieuwenhuis

      Reply Reply March 19, 2017

      Hello Lauren,

      Can’t help you with your question, but perhaps you can help me…
      Your relative, Lawrence Gerard Lyons McNamara, was killed in the 2nd World War on 17 December 1942 and he is buried on Texel island (where I live).
      I’m currently in the process of writing a book about the CWGC war graves here on Texel, and I’m looking for more information about him.
      To my knowledge he was born in 1915 in Barrackpore, West Bengal, India and his wife Frederica Eileen should have come from Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia. However, I can’t confirm this information, but perhaps you can…
      Please e-mail me if you like and I will be pleased to send you any information about the crash of his aircraft here on Texel; I’ve a lot of info about it.
      Greetings from Texel island, Holland,

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