By Lynn Bedford Hall
Booklet through Lynn Bedford corridor
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Extra info for Fig Jam and Foxtrot: Tales of life, love and food in the Karoo
And with no take-aways, home cooking was very important. Women became quite famous for their personal specialities, and you never went visiting without a little gift in a basket. My mother (who loved good food) did not enjoy cooking – we had an excellent cook who took care of that side of things. But her sister, my aunt, who lived on a large farm outside the town, was an adventurous cook with the most wonderful ingredients at hand. So this was the perfect combination – at home I was allowed to occupy the kitchen as much as I liked, and on the farm I could learn from my dear, patient aunt.
Behind Hamish the stairs creaked. He turned and saw, through the arrow slit on the landing, the palest of moons briefly shafting through the clouds. It caught the bare branches of a tree and threw dancing skeletons on the wall. Then it was pitch dark again. An owl hooted nearby, its drowsy call half-suffocated by the gale. And then suddenly the wind dropped. The rain stopped. The castle shuddered and sighed, and then the night became dead still. It was hideous. From somewhere above the step on which Hamish sat came a frantic, scratching noise.
The stories I hold come from Aunt Lovey. Aunt Lovey lived in the house next door. Her real name was Miss Lavelle Douw, but nobody called her that. It was always Aunt Lovey, or Tannie or Aunty but never Lavelle, and only the dominee called her Miss Douw. In a way, Aunt Lovey could be called the founder of Corriebush, for she was there from the time the first people bought plots and built houses. Originally, the whole area had belonged to her father, Kerneels Douw, who had inherited the family farm from his father round about the end of the nineteenth century.