(The following Chapters give an account of Pat�s eighteen months and my year on Orange Grove farm (now Chisengu). It doesn�t exactly tie in with my early years or with our Albany years, but links the two accounts.)
We reached Melsetter (now Chimanimani) on 21st May, and drove out towards Orange Grove on a wet and misty day. At the boundary we picked up Gielie Bredenkamp, who had been looking after the farm in Pat�s absence, and he stood on the runningboard in his hat and mackintosh and gave Pat an account of everything. I was very puzzled by frequent references to �burns� which to my mind were streams or rivers but that didn�t seem to tally, and this was the beginning of my learning something about farming. I think the next thing to learn was that there were breeds of cattle and sheep, and a first step was to recognise Herefords and Merinos.
When we reached the house Pat was disappointed to find that the building, under Mr Kloppers� supervision, was not as far advanced as he had hoped. There was a good kitchen, with a wood stove and a washing-up bowl on a table, partly shelved pantry, and a very big living room. The fact that the ceilings and floors were all wooden did not make any impression on my city-bred mind, and I only appreciated later how unusual this all was.
The far end of the living room was our bedroom furnished with two 3-foot black iron bedsteads, and partitioned off by propped-up ceiling sections which were due to be used in the next building phase - two small bedrooms detached from the main house plan. The sitting-room end contained a table and four chairs, and here we were joined for meals by Mr Kloppers and Gielie who slept in tents outside close by. Pat had engaged Arthur as cook and his wife Betty as housemaid.
I ran into a big problem that first evening in my new strange surroundings: I was suddenly sick into the petrol-tin bucket in our �bedroom�. I looked at Pat in dismay, and he smugly said �Ah - ha!� I said: �It�s not possible.� We had planned to wait for six months to let me get accustomed to the new style of life before starting a family, but our plans didn�t work. The problem I then had for some time was whether to be sick behind our inadequate partition, all too frequently with Mr Kloppers or visitors in ear-shot, or else to race up the steep hillside to our long-drop P.K. and hope to reach there in time.
I had considerable adjustments to make, coming straight from a newspaper office where I had so often known �tomorrow �s news today�, to the farm ten miles from the nearest neighbours - Melsetter on one side and Colonel and Mrs du Preez at Springfield on the other - and with no newspapers, no telephone, no electricity and no wireless. We did get a wireless soon, however, with wedding present money. Catering was a problem, as I had to accustom myself to writing to Umtali weeks before 1 needed replenishments, as the weekly R.M.S. took a full day each way for the trip between Melsetter and Umtali.