A day with the Crawfords

While en route from Cape Town to Tristan da Cunha four years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Martin and Marilyn Crawford and their son Murray and daughter-in-law Candace. Friends of Tristan know the name Allan Crawford, an island researcher, historian, documentarian, photographer and author. Martin is Allan’s son. I had a made-for-TV face-palm moment when I put two and two together while sailing to Tristan and realized that this Martin Crawford that I had been chatting about books with was one of the Crawfords. It truly never occurred to me that there was a connection. He and his wife Marilyn were returning to the island for their fifth time and taking their son and daughter-in-law for their first visit. I enjoyed talking to the family and Murray was so kind to take photos of some key personal moments, such as when I first set foot on Tristanian ground and when I was in the RIB travelling to Nightingale Island.

I shared with them my plans for what I wanted to do in Cape Town when the Tristan trip ended. One must-do was a hike up Table Mountain. I was so touched when they offered to take me up there. Nothing beats a climb with two experienced hikers. Had I gone on my own, I would have gone up the easiest or most publicized route, because I was alone and not about to search and explore. Yet Martin brought along a map of Table Mountain and knew the way very well. We rarely saw anyone yet kept to an established path. Their dog Flicka came along as well.

Since I am in Cape Town I got in touch with them and this morning they picked me up at Tristan House. Flicka came for the ride too. We drove to Green Point Park:

and saw the lighthouse (dog photobomb courtesy of Flicka):

We went back to their place for sandwiches and coffee and Martin and Marilyn showed me some of their own prize-winning research as well as archives from their father (-in-law) Allan. I adored looking at old envelopes postmarked from Tristan, admiring the different postmarks and cachets. I marvelled at their Tristan da Cunha and St. Helena book collections. I told them I could be very happy being left in their home for hours.

We drove around the Rondebosch region, and then visited the Rhodes Memorial:

and saw the noseless statue of Cecil Rhodes:

From this memorial you can see both Table Bay and False Bay.

I could very well enjoy hearing more about the Crawfords’ research and past projects and be delighted with tales of interest for hours. If I do make it to Tristan, I will be back in Cape Town for three more days. Perhaps a sharing of my island trip would be in order.

After our visit I stopped in at two more bookstores, Van Schaik and Protea, and walked past the District Six Museum. I want to go there sometime before next Wednesday. I hope to take a Cape Peninsula bus tour, and maybe walk to a beach on Sunday, which should be the sunniest day coming up. The Cape Town Marathon is this Sunday, so many roads are going to be closed. There are signs up all over the city warning of this. I plan to walk to Clifton Beach (as I did, from the Waterfront, four years ago) but I might not be able to if roads (and their adjacent sidewalks) are closed for the marathon

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