Day 375 – Chilled (literally)

The weather was awful today. Cold, dark, grey and windy. The first proper wintery day of the year. And all that with no cold front to explain it.

We would have been well within our rights to stay at home and snuggle under a blanket or three, but instead, we braved the garden centre, sorted the herb garden, volunteered at the Woof Project and only then tucked oursleves safely inside for the rest of the day.

Taskmaster and GeoGuessr have filled the pre-football evening.

Football will fill the rest of it.

Day 156 – A last blast?

One can always tell when Spring is coming along. In the UK, it’s when you switch off your central heating. In South Africa, it’s when your wood order moves away from bluegum for the fire towards kameeldoring and rooikrans for the braai.

It’s when Capetonians stop complaining about the cold and start complaining about the wind.

We’re not there yet.

Because it is still cold. Today is a freezing (ok, it’s 9.7ºC but we’ve covered this), wet, grey day with a strong, squally breeze that feels like it has come straight from the Antarctic. It’s a day for fortified red wine, a good fire, a thick duvet, some hearty soup and making sure that your local shelter has enough resources to provide some beds and meals for those who don’t have those luxuries described above.

I do have a plan to wrap up warmly and drag the beagle around the block at some point, but there is – perhaps understandably – a degree of canine resistance to that idea right now.

And so, for the moment, I’m being lazy and staying put. Maybe I’ll have a last blast on FIFA 20, maybe I’ll try and find some sort of live sport to watch, maybe I’ll even contemplate (and follow through on) an afternoon nap. And I won’t feel guilty about not getting out and “doing stuff”.

Everyone needs to have a day off every now and again. And given that it is thoroughly miserable out there today, this one is mine.

Day 103 – “Eventful” Thursday

I knew that there was a winter cold front coming through to Cape Town this week. I didn’t know it was a winter cold front like this though…

“The entire weather community in South Africa has eyes on the mammoth cold front developing in the South Atlantic. This system, arriving Thursday, promises to bring heavy rains and widespread snow to a great deal of SA and even Namibia if the system stays on track.
Our forecasts show this system is not only staying on course but is also strengthening substantially and should make for one of the most eventful winter weekend in Southern Africa in many years.”

Ooh.
And yes,that MASSIVE bank of white stuff off the coast of South America is heading our way.

And I’m not saying that it’s going to be big (although it is), but even Cape Agulhas Municipality decided to teach their residents about the basics so that they could be ready, with awesome lines such as this:

Descriptions: Snow
Snow is precipitation in the form of flakes of crystalline water ice that fall from clouds. Since snow is composed of small ice particles, it is a granular material.

Amazing. Who knew?

I’ll be keeping an eye on this (the weather, not the description of snow) as it approaches and update again tomorrow.

Stay home. Stay safe. Stay warm.

Day 77, part 2 – Buy a bed

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.

Donate here or via Snapscan here:

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I’ve just donated and now I’m off to warm myself up by making some bread.

I’d suggest that you donate before whatever plans you have for the afternoon.