the journey of a budding author

Weekly Photo Challenge : Abandoned


I am fascinated by old and crumbling buildings. They speak of lives and purposes long-forgotten. Echoes remain of joys and griefs and loves and loss of hope and hope regained. Why were they abandoned?
These photos are of a family homestead in the Eastern Transvaal, now called Mpumalanga. It was very sad to see that trees grow up in rooms where the family lived and laughed and played and sang. They rejoiced in good harvests and grieved when crops were destroyed by locusts or drought. Six sons and daughters danced and courted beaux and celebrated weddings and babies’ births, and wept when loved ones died. The ebb and flow of fortune scattered the family and the home was rented out for many years, till finally the new owners, who had a larger modern dwelling finally consigned this solid sandstone house to decay and resolution into earth once more.
We made a pilgrimage to the old homestead about six years ago on a dry Highveld winter day soon after the last daughter, our beloved mother and grandmother died at 97 years old after a fruitful life. These pictures a record of the visit.

please click on each photo to enlarge.

2008-06-01 12.23.47


This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge. ”Abandoned” was this week’s theme. Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.






Author: booksdefineme

I have always been surrounded by books. My parents had books, books and more books. I haunted the library as a child and when I grew up I worked in books shops. When I had children and they went to school I ran the school library. And my husband keeps on telling me there are too many books in the house. They somehow seem to pile up on every available surface almost of their own volition. I fight back and donate mounds of them to the local library but somehow it is a losing battle. I just find more taking their place! For the last eight years or so I have been wrestling with writing a novel and what a fierce tussle it is. I am about to publish this magnum opus in a few weeks time. I feel as I did when I gave birth to my children; nervous but excited!

6 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge : Abandoned

  1. What a perfect and yet poignant entry for the challenge, Elaine. These photos preserve your history and your words preserve the spirit of your family’s past.

  2. I always love coming across old homesteads, buildings, schools in the woods. If time permits, and it usually does if I am in the woods, I just sit there and look around the area and imagine how life might have been for those who lived there.

    • I have the same feelings! To stand at a window aperture and wonder how the inhabitants saw their view! Or sometimes there will be just a chimney with a bit of fireplace which evokes bread being baked and stories told…

  3. What a beautiful and touching story. Thank you for sharing.

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