Adèle Smith née Forster was born in Cawnpore, India, during the last stages of the Second World War. India was also in a state of flux at this time, and shortly after the end of the war, through the efforts of Mahatma Ghandi, became independent. Her family had first taken root in India in the mid1800’s when her great-grandfather, Joseph Harrington, left County Cork in Ireland to join the British Army and travelled with them to India. His eldest child was called Rose, and her youngest daughter was the author’s mother.
With Partition threatening in India, many familes of British origin decided to repatriate to the United Kingdom, and the author’s mother boarded the Lusitania with her two older brothers in 1946, and settled in Chislehurst, Kent. The children were raised by their step-father, Leonard Hunt, when he married their widowed mother on February 14th 1947.
The author received a Grammar School education in Bromley, Kent, and progressed to South Bank University to study Polymer Technology, from where she graduated with honours; the first ever female Polymer Technologist. She had been working in the polymer industry for four years before retiring to raise three children. During their early years, she worked part-time as a folk guitar teacher in adult education. She also qualified as a scuba diver in 1968, and became a BSAC Club Instructor and enjoyed teaching in the pool, open water or in the classroom. These activities engendered a love of teaching, and once the children were in full-time education, she studied for a Post Graduate Certificate of Education, which she achieved with Distinction, and began a career as a Further Education Lecturer in Chemistry in Kingston College. She rose ‘through the ranks’ and finished her career as Head of Science. During those busy years, the author started on ‘Of Mists and Monsoons’ based on the many anecdotes recounted by her mother from her own growing up years in India. But computers were very limited in those days, and it was difficult to save the manuscript, which languished as hard copy for many years.
After retiring from teaching, Adèle relocated to Koh Samui in Thailand with second husband Wally where she became active with the Rotary Club for the first time in her life. She also became restless to finish the job she had started so many years before, and finally completely edited and retyped the manuscript.