On the Beach

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Crappy Weather Capital of South Africa

Dear Reader,

Today I write to you- on a day in early spring where the temperature hit over 30 degrees C- from the Crappy Weather Capital of South Africa.

It's officially spring here and, this weekend certainly, you can certainly feel it.

Last winter- either because I came from northern Europe or because it was an unusually "good" winter- I  didn't really see the fuss. A bit of rain, slightly shorter days. Whatever. This year- over winter- I was griping like a life-long Capetonian about the wind and the rain. I was very much ready for the change in season.

I also can't be sure whether I have been affected by media coverage of the weather. In the car I listen to the radio a lot and many of the stations are based in Jo'burg. So when discussing the weather I have heard things like this:

" It's gloomy and dark in Jo'burg today, the weather came up from Cape Town. Shame, you can't blame them, it's been like that for months down there."

" I went to Cape Town this weekend and the weather was great. Not the usual rainy Cape Town weather."

"The weather's been so rubbish in Jo'burg this weekend, it's been almost as bad as Cape Town- which must be the crappy weather capital of South Africa, hey?".

These reports have bothered me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they are obviously working from a different definition of "crappy" to me. I concede that we have a winter here, yes. But I think all that lack of rain and constant sun in Jo'burg must just be melting their brains. I'd love them to review a November in London- if they could last a month.

Secondly, I take it as a personal affront. I feel wounded. Why? Because, I moved here (partly-largely?!) because of the weather. I considered it a considerable upgrade from the deal that I was getting up north. And, frankly, it upsets me that having made such a momentous decision and feeling that I was right, at least in terms of the weather- someone comes along and p*sses on my parade. Someone tells me that I've moved to the London-weather equivalent in South Africa.  My FB claims about the weather sound hollow and false. Because I live in the Crappy Weather Capital of South Africa.

I have decided that cape Town has 2 seasons: 9 months of summer (3 cooler momths to start- everything is green and gorgeous. Then 3 hot months. Then 3 months of getting less hot and everything is brown.) and 3 months of on-off torrential rain with wonderful sunny days in between (aka winter).

Or, put differently: Cape Town has  9 months where I don't really bother to check the weather and 3 where I do. Summer seems to have an on/off switch: when "on" is hit, the rain peters out, suddenly stepping out you feel the warmth of the sun (today I went for  30min bike ride at 10am, came back with a suntan-no bad thing really, my legs were about to be entered into a translucency contest). The "off " switch seems to be a sudden bout of heavy rain fall, from nowhere (in the period of the 3 months where it is getting less hot and everything is brown) which signals "The End" [of summer].

Anyway, the "on" switch seems to have been engaged: today and yesterday we had gorgeous days which (for us) involved lagoons, flowers, sea views and braais with fabulous friends.

I think I can live with residing in the Crappy Weather Capital of South Africa after all..


PS Just heard a fly buzzing around. My totally worst thing about summer. They're gross carriers of filth and make the most irritating noise possible. And if they touch you- yuck..

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