A district in Hong Kong, just south of Wan Chai. Mainly noted for its horse racing, mentioned several times in Paul Theroux's novel Kowloon Tong.

The Land that God gave to Cain?

Located smack drab in the center of Labrador, part of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the double community of Happy Valley - Goose Bay may seem like the most boring place on Earth to some, but is in fact a nice place to live (well, for a time, at least). In the nine months I have lived here, I have grown to love the place, and remember my time there fondly.

Home to over 6,500 residents, nearly one third of the total population of Labrador, the town is a quiet place, especially in winter, when training is suspended, people move elsewhere and snow is falling at enormous rates. It get's cold, too, but it's a dry coldness, even nice when there is no wind, but deadly when there is. The wind chill factor can easily make the actual temperature drop to -40 degrees Celsius or more. Cars are left turned on when shopping, or connected to a heating system to prevent starting problems. And car-theft is virtually unheard of when the only way out is the Translabradorian Highway, and the next towns are hours away.

The economic center of the community is without doubt the 5 Wing Air Base used by international Air Forces to conduct low-level flying training missions impossible to perform anywhere else. Since the airbase was built over 50 years ago, it has been the single largest economic engine in all of Labrador, providing jobs for most of the local population and it ensures the future of the region's economy. During World War II, Goose Bay was a major staging point for the US Strategic Air Command for flights across the Atlantic Ocean. At that time, more than 16,000 Americans lived at the base, but these times are long gone. Today, the Americans train elsewhere, the last having left 1991. Today, the British, Italian, Dutch and German Air Forces train along with their Canadian hosts. The Wing also serves as a NORAD CF-18 deployed operating base and airfield supporting a mix of aviation activities, military and civilian, in north-eastern Canada.

It can be a peaceful place, where moose and muskrat say goodnight, but if this kind of quiet is something for you, it is quite beautiful. I also never saw the stars as clearly as I did when I was stationed there with the german Luftwaffe. No light pollution whatsoever. Driving through the snow in a skidoo is also great fun. The best way into the community is by way of flying into the small civilian airport. And when you are there, and are able to access the military compound (there were no security checks at all when I was there), be sure to drink some imported german beer and eat some German food at the Deutsches Haus, my former place of work during my tour of duty.

Gilgil and its environs is the place where the Happy Valley set lived.


Nowadays Gilgil is located in the Highlands of Kenya about 200 miles from Nairobi on the main road. Gilgil is Kikuyu Land where alot of Kikuyu people live too (and a few Maasai) - it is near the Towns of Nakuru and Lake Nakuru but it actual fact it is closer to Naivasha and Lake Naivasha. The great mountain range the Abaderes is located near to this area too. It is in the heartlands of Kenya.


Oh i forget - Lord Delamere, also lives down the road from Gilgil. He was in the newspaper recently for shooting someone on his land. This is the second time that this happened he shot and killed someone before - the first time he got off though...

The place has two or three seasons - the long hot season the windy season and the wet. It is very mountainous going up to about 14,000 feet.  

The Happy Valley set also liked to play golf and drink 'sundowners' (G & T's - for the quinine - it prevents malaria) at the Gilgil County Golf Club. It is still running and it is still a whites only Club.  

Nowadays, the whites who live around Lake Naivasha go to the club which is famous for its Sunday Roast (usually there are a bunch of people to play Tennis there.

Also the local English Preparatory School teachers like to drink there on a Friday night. So do the chaps from V.A.E

There is a swimming pool inside Pembroke School which recently first admitted it's first black pupil.

 The children like playing cricket, rugby, horseriding, tennis and of course swimming.

There are also boda boda bicycle riders who will cycle you on the back of their bicycle (which has a useful seat welded to the back of it) for 30 bob (30p stirling). They will cycle to the local town called Gilgil, they won't cycle any further. 

Gilgil is a small dusty sweltering little scap of a place.

There tracks of the railroad run past the Gilgil club and towards Gilgil.

Gilgil is also near a another town called Langalanga - (meaning racing car - its a onomatopaic word). There used to be a great race track there but now there's just a great thick wedge of black tarmac which surprisingly doesn't melt.

The Army base for the Northern Command in Kenya is based there. The Army sometimes arrests and tortures people there. Usually with electric car batteries. Very nasty.

A friend of a friend of mine had been arrested on the assumption that he had stabbed someone in Gilgil town. My aquentance was going to the Army Police station to bring his friend food, because they wouldn't feed you in there.

At another point, when I was in Gilgil - I nearly got beaten to death by a mob of people for forgetting to pay the bus driver 20 bob (Kenyan shillingi) 20p. That was another hairy point.

The place is full of danger under the surface.

But the Tennis Courts at the Club are fun. And the beer is niiiice and cold.


Source: Brain

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