We’ve dealt with the folly of “Spring Day” in South Africa before. The vernal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere is the 23rd September, and not a moment (or 22 days) before.
But despite the fact that it’s definitely not Spring, it is just around the corner. The mornings are getting lighter, the evenings too, and stuff in the garden is beginning to bud and flower.
And so, also coming soon is the biannual Cape Town whinge switch. That moment of the year when the complaining about the cold changes to moaning about the wind. And thus, I was reminded of this piece from last year, which is amongst the most overly dramatic things I’ve ever read about the infamous “Cape Doctor”. Or anything else, actually.
A pal was visiting from New York when Cape Town was at Peak Wind, and one day she came into my flat from out of The Wind, looking all startled and like she had just been in a war, and said “I don’t know how you live like this.” Me neither, friend. I wake up sometimes at night and think, “This cannot go on.” I wake up and think “This is too loud for nature.”
“Peak Wind” is not a phrase any local person would use. This is the language of someone trying to make a hurricane out of a simple evening gale.
“Like she had just been in a war”. Wow. Was she dead or missing a limb or something?
Yes, I’ve lived in Vredehoek. Yes, I’ve witnessed garden furniture flying off the deck, but no, I’ve never thought:
I bet you the wind kills people every day.
The wind robs us of our life force, so that all we can do is be angry and text each other about how much we hate it. The wind, the wind, the wind.
Honestly, love. Get a grip.
It’s been a chilly couple of weeks, and it’s been discussed widely on social media. That’s winter in Cape Town. A succession of cold fronts that (usually, anyway) bring wind and rain. Now, as we approach spring, we’re allowed to complain about the wind. It is sometimes annoying.
But should you be tempted to:
…send each other texts that say things like “This wind is destroying my quality of life” and “I can’t handle the wind” and “Let me tell you the wind.”
(That last one doesn’t even make sense.)
Or if you ask questions about the wind like:
Why it makes us all want to just pitch ourselves off the roof?
Why it makes us lose our entire personalities?
Then you’re overstating its effects rather too much.
I don’t know if the author is still in Cape Town, but having gone through another summer complete with the South Easter blowing, I’m guessing that she’s either jumped off a roof or lost her personality.
That latter one would probably only have taken a gentle breeze, to be honest.