Thursday, 22 July 2010
Heading for Cradock
Well, she did indeed get off the boat in Cape Town and marry my grandfather the very same day!
Imagine - not having seen him for 5 years and then meeting and marrying within the space of hours. Who said that life was slower in those days?
The happy couple then boarded the train for Cradock, which - have a look at the map - is kind of halfway between the last A of South AfricA and the dot of Port Elizabeth. It took a day or two, including a change at De Aar, a remote outpost that no doubt prepared my grandmother for the fact that she wasn't heading for the bright lights.
When we went back to Cradock a year or so ago, we drove up from PE, and as I watched the scenery change from green to brown I couldn't help wondering what she was thinking while the train puffed its way across the arid Karoo. A long way from the green hills of Ireland! Hopefully the sunsets were spectacular, and added a little romance - a little fire? - to the honeymoon.
I don't know where their first married home was, but we did manage to find the exact place where my grandfather worked 100 years ago. Tell you next time..