Friday, 6 March 2009

Gawd, the heat (and how very short our memories can be)

People in various parts of South Africa are melting – it was 29 degrees at 5.45am this morning in the Riebeek Valley and it’s just got hotter ever since.

When my daughter got home from school at 2pm and it was over 45, she was tetchy because the schools hadn’t closed. I can’t say I disagree – operating on any level when it’s so hot is simply impossible. This is weather that calls for mint juleps (whatever they may be, but they sound agreeably cool and alcoholic) and white linen and fans, not blazers and maths and trying to think.

My son remarked today that he found it strange that we’re having such fierce heat so ‘late’ in the year – and I was able to point with authority to last year’s weather tree and show him that, in fact, last year’s March was every bit as hot and sweaty. (Which is an excuse to put in a picture of my finally completed weather tree for 2008 – pretty, huh? You can go to my post of 30 November 2008 and to see it half-done.)

I keep reminding myself that in a very short time, it’s going to be cold and wet, and it’s going to be cold and wet for quite a long time. The Cape winters are every bit as extreme as the summers. It can rain for days, and the chill is wicked: it’s not icy, it’s just lazy – it doesn’t go around you, it goes through you. Washing goes miff on the clothes horse (for those of us greenies who don’t have tumble-driers; and we also don’t have aircon, obviously), paintings grow mould, and for some of us (Johann, for one) groundwater rises and makes itself permanently felt in our living rooms.

So sitting and sweltering, for me, is the lesser of two evils. Give me being boiled alive, any day, over freezing to death.

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Ruth Kirby said...

Indeed. You can't complain about your 1 month of cold and wet. We had snow (again) on Wednesday this week and there are still no leaves on any of my deciduous trees ... this is the long haul.

ali g said...

45 is too hot agree. We had a few over 40's a couple of weeks ago [NSW] but very nice now with mid 20's and forecast of a bit of rain for next week.
Voted for you in 'most humorous blog' category [per TP blog instructions]
G 'n K

Muriel said...

Darling Ruthless, it is NOT one month. How can you have forgotten? (Ah, ex-pats.) The Western Cape winter is a cold, miserable slough of despond for at least five months, and sometimes longer. Okay, so we don't freeze our actual arses off - but then we don't often get the ice and snow that makes northern winters so postcardly interesting. Check out my weather tree - our winter, while it might not freeze the flesh off our bones, is long and nasteh. (But then, at least, we do have the sit-and-sweat of summer to make up for it.)

Muriel said...

Okay, four months last year. (Dang-blasted weather tree.)