As predicted, the project end is still a few words away, but the raw draft surpassed 100,000 words yesterday and the end is definitely in sight!
Research at this point has diminished as I'm working from Eileen's notes and using character development to fill gaps. Bill proposed to Eileen, as noted in the previous post, in order to be married before he began work at Naranga station, so Eileen visited Bill's world - his father's farm and the farm Bill worked on for the Lloyd family - and her brothers and sisters also visited.
Henry's farm - a 120 acre plot six kilometres from Lake Alexandrina on the Nine-Mile Road, caught between Tailem Bend and Meningie - is where Bill grew up, and Bill and Eileen spent almost all their married life on the property. The landed families around the district surrounding Henry's farm measured their properties in thousands of acres, so Henry's property was tiny and almost worthless from a farming perspective. It was not connected to the electricity grid or the mains water network, had a rudimentary five gallon bucket toilet, an underground rainwater tank for drinking water and an ancient pipeline running from the lake that produced tainted, low quality water for washing and stock.
The house was originally a two-roomed establishment hand-built from stone and lime and wood by a brother and sister in the late 1880s. Two more rooms were added, the roof sloping down from the original peaked roof, and a tiny annex added for a kitchen and wash space. I often wonder what Eileen thought of the place when she did move into it (which is after this story), having grown up in Adelaide where electricity and water were common conveniences in most dwellings by the 1950s.
Because I also grew up there, I can confirm the electricity was not connected until 1966 (kerosene lamps and candles lit our nights) and mains water was never connected. On reflection, as a child in the 1960s, I felt like I was growing up in the previous century when it came to the conveniences and houses my school friends and relatives grew up in.
Research this week did lead me to explore the existence of a bridal shop on Goodwood Road where Eileen bought her wedding dress, but I haven't located where it might have been yet.
However, historically 1953 included significant events, including a vicious storm in May that destroyed property and coastal edifices like Brighton Jetty, almost as severely as the famed 1948 hurricane. Queen Elizabeth the Second's coronation took place in June, so setting the story against these backgrounds adds flavour to the tale.
Given the year by year chapter structure I've adopted, which appears to be working really well, I've also researched famous movie quotes for each year to sub-head the chapter title, choosing quotes by characters that point toward the events in the chapter that affect Eileen.
Not much to report this week, but the end is in sight, so back to the keyboard.