The story of this farm romance begins, as some do, with a blind date.
As an employee at The Drift’s accountancy firm, Mariska’s mother had noticed a remarkable young farmer by the name of Andre routinely dropping off documents at the firm. Impressed by his stature and demeanour, she thought to herself, “this man would be a good match for my eldest daughter.”
The opportunity to match-make presented itself in 2012 when Mariska was invited to a wedding. Knowing that Mariska would need to invite a partner her mother jumped at the chance to suggest she invite Andre. Initially reluctant, Mariska had some conditions for her blind date, that he must be taller than her, he must have blue or green eyes and he must be able to dance.
Taking a blind date to a wedding has the potential to be disastrous and with that in mind Andre and Mariska decided to meet for coffee a few weeks before the wedding. To Mariska, love at first sight was an ethereal notion, these days it is watching Andre disembark from his bakkie at a coffee shop.
The next few years were restless with trips to and from Cape Town, Mariska teaching in Delft and Andre managing The Drift near Napier. A move by Mariska to fill a teaching position in Gaansbaai eased the travel until Mariska accepted the position of Guesthouse and Farm Admin Manager on The Drift Farm in 2015. Despite her insistence that there be an engagement between them before she move onto the farm, it became evident that Andre marches to his own beat and the obligatory engagement remained elusive.
Each year The Drift throws a Christmas lunch for the personalities that make The Drift a unique enclave of magic and we have a tradition of writing down our hopes, dreams and wishes for the coming year. These are sealed in an envelope and opened at the following year’s Christmas lunch.
2016’s Christmas lunch, besides the delicious fare and fine wine, served up a wonderful revelation. It transpired that Mariska had sought the help of The Drift’s festive magic to get Andre on bended knee. A wish to have Andre propose to her in 2016 was granted, though perhaps not in the fashion she imagined. In Andre’s indomitable style, he’d led Mariska up two sand dunes in the rain at Witsand to make his proposal.
I wonder what she’s asked for in 2017…