Ok....about two years back we visited Tintern Abbey. I love that area, the Wye Valley is a place I hope I can visit again soon, every time we go there's something about the place that draws you in. Anyway...there are a couple of antique shops in Tintern, and one has lovely old postcards for sale. I spent a happy half hour just looking through the old photos of far off places in the dim and distant past, and the portaits of Victorian couples and their children....and I came upon a card that just drew me in.
So, I bought it....put it in a book to keep it flat and then when we came home, not wanting to have the card bent, I put it away for safekeeping. And promptly forgot where I put it.
It's been driving me mad, if you've ever been haunted by the loss of an object you'll know what its been like....until a few days ago when my daughter found it...in a cookery book that I can't remember ever using!
Now this card is a bit special. It's a scene of a military parade. A HUGE military parade....but I had to buy the postcard because of one person in that picture. Amongst the throng of the crowd there is a girl...standing alone....looking directly at the camera. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I can get obsessed, but this girl has really been haunting me. Who is she, why was she there...WHERE was she, and why is she standing there on her own??
After a little bit of research I *think* I know where the photo was taken and when. The dress of the people is Edwardian(ish), there are trams, there are horse drawn carriages, there are tropical trees, a huge square and a garden. There is a church on the left of the picture in the background. Then there are the soldiers and the flags.
I may be wrong, but I think this was a parade around the time of the Boer War through Durban, South Africa. I've come to this conclusion by looking around and found some photos of Durban that may fit the era. The circular "pond" is the same as those in Durban.
But if any of you know any more, or even just want to tell me I'm wrong, please tell me. This scene really is haunting me. Seriously. I need to put a time and a place to this postcard. Two years ago I wrote a "novel" during NaNoWriMo because a snippet from The Times in the 1870s, about a murder in the centre of Paris, had been haunting me in a similar way...I never did find out what happened (but that's another story...literally...I wrote my novel around it and laid the ghost to rest by writing the story).
I may have to do something similar with this....yup....I may have to write the story about "The girl in the crowd". But for the time being....if there is anyone out there who knows the real story I would be very happy to hear it.
So...here's the postcard...and yes I've watermarked it....through bloody-mindedness and not wanting anyone to pinch it (well..it does happen).
Can you spot her??