Sunday, July 31, 2011

Farewell to Windy Ridge

Our little holiday cottage was built at the turn of the last century and used as a ration store during the Boer War.

Built on a gentle slope with all about the sea, Mr. Nielson and I fell in love at once with its higgledy piggledy charm.

We first saw it on a perfect, windless day and we never quite got the accuracy of its name, until we spent our first summer there. We lay wide eyed in bed, as the dreaded South Easter wind made itself known to us against the cottage walls.

In the lounge. paintings gently flapped gainst the South wall!

We loved its humble clapboard facade.

Its unsophisticated construction seemed to us a kind of happy innocence, that made it 'almost alright' to own a second home in a country where so many are homeless.

And for the children it was paradise.

A safe haven in which to explore and bloom under holiday skies.

Of course, in time the little cottage began to burst at the seams with visitors wanting to spend the night, after a long lazy day cocooned in its sweet embrace.

And so, plans began to take shape around the dinner table, in exercise books, on scraps of paper, and in the mind's eye, of a cottage ready to grow up.

Finally, after years of dreaming, along with the terrible knowledge that once tampered with our little house, (with all its memories and all the echoes of the life we have lived) would never be the same, is being transformed...

Fare thee well darling Windyridge...

xxx elle

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