Monday, October 20, 2014

Moragh, Holly's Ghost - Holly's World - The Wedding Chapel

The Wedding Chapel

The basic premise of Moragh, Holly's Ghost is the marriage between strangers and if it was possible for such a marriage to survive. Holly and Joshua meet for the first time on the steps of the chapel they were to be married in. Before that, they only briefly spoke to each other on the phone on the night Joshua responded to the advert Holly's friends had placed in the paper and offered to marry her.

The chapel was the Old Fort Chapel, which of course, is in Durban. (It's great to be a story teller.) Holly and Joshua tied the knot in Cape Town, and it suited me to borrow the name of the Durban Old Fort Chapel. I have a personal attachment for this tiny chapel which seats about 20 people. My two oldest children were christened there and my best friend got married in the Old Fort Chapel. It is such a romantic setting for a wedding. Tongue in cheek - I made the wedding dress and the bride looked like a fairytale princess. And Gilda and Trevor are still happily married!

Holly's Wedding Dress
Back to Holly's wedding. Holly looked like a fairytale princess too. She bought a dress in the palest yellow, because it showed her legs off nicely. Holly 'borrowed' the roses in her bouquet from a neighbor's garden and for her veil, she draped a length of silvery chiffon over her head. She knocked Joshua's feet right from under him.

Joshua on the Wedding Day
Joshua was a knockout himself, tall dark and handsome, and BIG. That was Holly's first impression of the man she was marrying. Of course, he had a yellow carnation on his lapel so that Holly could recognize him. I always thought of Matt Bomer as Joshua, although Joshua was taller than Matt.

The Old Fort Chapel in Durban, is quite an interesting place. Situated in the same spot the British were besieged early in Durban's history.
Things were pretty tense in the tiny settlement called Durban in the mid 19th Century. The Boers, hungry for a land they could call their own, annoyed the Brits by raising the Dutch flag at Durban’s Point. Things escalated until the Brits sent an armed force of a few hundred soldiers overland to Natal to teach the Boers a lesson.

When the Dutchmen demanded that the invaders leave immediately, the British attacked the rag-tag rebels’ camp at Congella in the middle of the night of 23 May 1842. The Boers saw them coming. They killed 15 British soldiers, wounded 29, and three went “missing”. The Boers lost only two of their own men and one was wounded.

The British retired to their camp that was to become The Old Fort, to await reinforcements from the Cape. They left two of their cannon behind, which the Boers put to good use.

The British asked for a 24-hour truce to bury their dead. In this time they arranged their 60 wagons in a circle around the tented camp and dug a trench around the perimeter.

At the end of truce, the Boers resumed the siege, now 2 canons stronger. On the first day after the one-day truce, 122 cannonballs were fired into the British camp, which provided very little protection from rifle and cannon fire. The first shot fired by the Boers whizzed through the officers’ mess tent. When the Boers ran out of cannonballs, they dug up the ones shot by the British and fired them back in a lethal form of cannonball tennis.

Entrance to the Old Fort Gardens
Old Fort Chapel
The siege finally ended when two British ships arrived with reinforcements. The rebellion was over, and the British ruled Natal.  
The Old Fort was used as an army barracks until 1897, when it fell into disuse. The old magazine in the fort was converted into a tiny 
                                                     chapel that is still in use today.

Moragh, Holly's Ghost is available from Amazon in paperback, ebook and audio formats.
It ia also available in paperback from Barnes & Nable, and many other fine online stores.