Just before we embarked on the 2009 Kids in Tow Tour, we had an evening of very strong northeasterly winds in Cape Town. Those of you from this area will recognise that northeasters are fairly rare and bring with them the heat of sub-Saharan Africa.
Not all of it, obviously. I mean, I am in no way suggesting that the Democratic Republic of Congo drops to Absolute Zero just because it’s a bit breezy in Cape Town. That would be silly. But when it’s blowing at 45km/h at three in the morning and the temperature is still 23°C, then you know that someone, somewhere, is missing that warmth.
The other potential issue for me was that aeroplanes taking off and landing at Cape Town International Airport don’t like those sort of winds. And that was my main concern regarding the gusty conditions – at least until I woke up the next morning and found what it had done to my big tree in the garden. It had broken it. And the big tree, being a big tree, had broken some more stuff underneath itself. Gravity wins again.
Before it was broken, the big tree used to provide a landing spot for Cape Turtle Doves who would gently coo and… coo some more; it gave us that little shady nook at the corner of the pool where you could escape the fierce rays of the Cape Town summer sun. And perhaps most importantly, it hid the rather messy bit at the back of the garden from us.
There wasn’t much we could do about the big broken tree with 12 hours to go before our flight to Heathrow, so when we got back from overseas, the big broken tree was still big and broken. Yesterday, some big broken tree experts came, tutted a bit and shook their heads and then took the big broken tree away, breaking much of the rest of the garden in the process.
Now I have a broken garden with a big tree sized hole where the big tree used to be.
“Look on the bright side,” said Mrs 6000.
But then she stopped and there was silence, because there was no bright side.
We have a broken garden and it’s very sad.