Book Title: Cocktails and Cockroaches : A Diplomatic Memoir
Author: Adam Kay
Format: Paperback | 204 pages
Publication Date: 28 Feb 2009
It is said that there are two categories of diplomat: those who belong to the Land Rover circuit and those who prefer the cocktail party round. Jane and her ambassador husband, Gilbert, definitely preferred the former and fully enjoyed some of the world's wildest and most stunningly beautiful regions. There was no escaping the social side completely however and they would sometimes find themselves hosting a lunch party for 24 at the embassy one day and floating down an Amazonian river on a balsa raft the next. Life was exhausting but endlessly fascinating. This book represents the good times when one could roam freely through the high Andes and jungles of Bolivia or the vast expanses of the Sahara with the purpose of visiting as many provincial governors and Berber chiefs as possible and thereby giving rise to much good will and understanding. The penultimate section reflects retirement and the struggle to settle into a more traditional and domestic life at home, as well as the various small enterprises which the family thought up to make life more varied. The final chapter tells the story of Jane's stay with Canadian nuns in the favelas of Salvador Bahia and the hopelessness of trying to improve the lot of the desperately poor who seemed never to lose faith. It also led to the realisation that what people wanted most of all throughout the world was the ability and the means to help themselves.