Will this be the coldest day of the year in Cape Town?
I’m guessing (and hoping) so. We’re only just scraping into the dizzy realms of double figures. And that drops off sharply with every squall that comes through. And while 10ºC might be balmy for a lot of other places in the real world, we don’t have double glazing or central heating or (in quite a lot of rooms) carpets.
You’d be surprised just how much of a difference that makes.
Of course, we’re not set up for these chilly conditions simply for the reason that they really don’t happen very often down here. But they are happening today and we’re hiding inside under blankets, cuddling hot-sacks and nursing hot drinks. Even the beagle is hiding in its basket, covered with blankets (and we got the model that comes pre-equipped with fur and everything).
One thing we do have is a log fire. Definitely the best thing we ever put into this house. Especially today. I’m really not sure how we’d manage with the old gas heater that was in here and cost hundreds of Rands to briefly suggest warmth to an area about 30cm in front of it. Now I chuck huge lumps of invasive vegetation into a mini furnace and prevent widespread family hypothermia.
Of course, we’re very lucky to be able to have a roof over our heads and a fire to fling logs at.
If you want to help support those who don’t have such luxuries, please consider a donation to The Haven night shelter, where as little as R60 ($3.56, £2.81) can give someone a bed for 5 nights.
Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, there’s no harm in helping others out at this time of year. Or at any time of year. But generally, people seem more predisposed to being generous around the festive season.
So how about buying a bed for a homeless person in Cape Town?
It’s about this time of year that I make my regular annual plea to help out people stuck out in the cold in our area. A couple of cold fronts have brought some very heavy rain and some alarmingly chilly temperatures to the Cape and this sort of weather obviously really exacerbates the difficulties for the homeless people in the city.
Last night, I was in my car, battling my way through floods, gales and torrential rain when I heard that my football match had been called off. I returned home (direct access from garage to house), got changed into some cosy warm clothes, lit the fire and got myself a coffee.
We have a huge problem with homelessness in Cape Town, but obviously, people’s thoughts are concentrated more on the plight of these unfortunate individuals when we have weather like we have had over the past few days.
If this weekend has made you feel that you want to do more than just remind us via social media how lucky you are to have a roof over your head, you could support The Haven night shelters across the Western Cape. They will happily take blankets, warm clothes, sleeping bags and non-perishable food items at any of their shelters across the city and Cape area or their Head Office.
Additionally, you can purchase Haven “Passports” to help homeless people get a night in their local shelter:
Rather than giving your R5 or R10 to a person on the street, there is a better option; The Haven ‘Passport’. It gives the homeless person entry to one of our shelters and includes a hot shower, a clean set of clothes, a nourishing meal and a bed (if available). Passports can be purchased from The Haven Head Office or at any of our shelters @ R10 each.
Please share this post and give whatever you can to help someone out – especially with winter only just beginning.