After the second world war optimism was high. Countries devastated physically and psychologically from years of violence, turbulence and loss slowly moved away from a war footing. The British Empire was fading as countries strived for their independence.

The war machine converted to consumerism with a promise of a new and better world. The years of little and austerity faded away to a new consciousness of a new world.

The creation of the National Service, credit and materialism slowly replaced the dark days. Nation building was in its infancy.

With the demise of the Empire, government had to respond to this changing world. Immigration was to be a consequence of independence.

My father as a young member of Crown Agents (the predecessor to the civil service) was recruited to the Foreign and Commonwealth office and headed out to Pakistan in 1962 to set up immigration. Save for a few months I was born in Karachi in the same year.

Our family now were destined to be part of the expat community in a world that continued to change year after year, ending for my father in Riyadh in 1993 after the first Gulf war.

For me my greatest, earliest and prevalent memories came from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is also quite importantly the most recorded part of our collective lives having been photographed and recorded on hours and hours of cine film.

Follow me in the footsteps of my father.