S is for Shivering in my Boots


Africa. Where the sun always shines on TV. Well, it doesn’t. Always shine.

This weekend was a London-esque as it gets. Except for some major differences. It isn’t London.

13704-game-of-thrones-stark-winter-is-comingIt’s very Games of Thrones in South Africa in more ways than one, but Winter has certainly come with all the subtlety of a raging warrior brandishing a broadsword and yelling a war cry.

When I lived in London I was never so cold as I am right now in Africa.

I miss central heating.

I miss double glazing.

I miss warm clothes that are actually warm.

Every winter we have rolling electricity blackouts as we all try to keep ourselves from freezing to death. I am sure we could cut our usage of fuel and power with double glazing as some decent approximation of insulation.

The cats have retreated to sit on the top of the geyser. The dogs are curled up in mute plea in front of the dormant fireplace. One of the old-fashioned ones, that actually requires you cut down a tree not just flick a switch.

Corset_Harpers_Bezar1882lI spent the weekend working on a big job with a Victorian corset type of deadline. I sat with my feet on a hot water bottle (necessitating constant refills), hot water bottle and feet wrapped in a blanket.

A blanket lay on my legs, a beanie on my head and around my upper half, two polar fleeces bought in England and an insulated camping jacket bought there too.

There are times when fashion is simply not a consideration.


In fury at the situation I called the hardware megachain and asked if they had double glazing. I spoke to about 4 different people none who had any idea what I talking about.

Person number 5 said, “Ah, You must be from England.”

Apparently they do not have double glazing.

Person 5 suggested I put in double panes of glass with a matchstick between them.

I felt like telling them graphically what they could do with that matchstick.

Everything here is designed for mid summer heat. Lots of restaurants outdoors. Lots of wide open airy internal spaces that cost the GDP of a small African state to heat.

For heaven’s sake!

There are countries permanently snowbound that are warmer to live in than this one.

I am cleaner than a vestal virgin since the water is the only thing that’s hot.

I’d retreat to my car, but the air conditioner is stuck on Arctic, which only makes it worse.

In deference to my state, the husband kindly replaced all the window panes that have fallen out, reducing the freezing breeze that made these blue fingers freeze.

He has yet to relent on the end of the month electric blanket deadline though.

Scarce natural resources be damned, tomorrow I am buying a heater for this room.

The sun was shining today. Winter here is beautiful. Clear blue skies that stretch for eternity. Being cold just makes me cranky.

Sitting Polar bearIt brings to mind a favourite little rhyme of my father’s.

“As cold as charity

And that’s pretty glum.

As cold as the hairs

On a polar bear’s bum.”



0 thoughts on “S is for Shivering in my Boots

  1. That’s too cold! I’m going to picture you in a cozy house with stew cooking all day to keep the writing warm. (I type that as I’m eating a Popsicle in a warm climate…)

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