Tag Archives: snow

I Love Winter

Raindrops 1

In case you hadn’t noticed yet, I love winter here in Cape Town!

I realise I am in the minority in this, as most Capetonians prefer the summer heat. However, I’ve always found it too hot and humid here in Cape Town in summer. Growing up in the freezing North of England I am used to the cold; proper cold!

If you’re too cold you can always put on another jersey.

If you’re too hot, what do you do? We don’t have air-conditioning in our house (and neither does anyone I know).

All you can hope for is some breeze. And there are many summer days here when there isn’t a breath of air. You sit outside under the trees and drink copious amounts of ice cold drinks and just survive till evening and a slight lowering of the exhausting day time temperatures.

One year in March temperatures in Cape Town reached 40C. This was excessive and rare. And also sweltering!

I love wearing jeans and a jersey and a scarf. I have a special Comfort Jersey, which is baggy and thin and I love it to bits. I look at it longingly in summer and practically live in it in winter.

The only trouble with winter here in CT is that most of the shopping centres are heated, so I find myself stripping off layers and walking round in my Tshirt, sweating!

Raindrops 2

It can be jolly cold first thing in the mornings, especially when the sky is clear and there are no clouds to keep the heat in. It’s a damp sort of cold. These are the mornings when I walk Little Monkey wearing gloves and a scarf and I can see my breath billowing out on front of me. The nice thing is that I can walk her any time of the day in winter and not be incinerated by the sun! In summer it has to be early morning or late afternoon, avoiding the sun as if we were vampires!

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So how cold does it get in Cape Town?

Monday was about the coldest we get. A large storm front had passed through Cape Town, bringing heavy rain, with floods in some areas, and snow on Table Mountain* and in areas to the north.

When it snows on Table Mountain and the winds blow over that, it gets jolly cold. So, yeah temperatures may only drop to 8C, but it is a biting cold.

I do have a little heater, but never use it the whole of winter. It’s stored somewhere gathering dust. We just put on more clothing if it we’re too cold.

Also, the first thing I do every morning is open all the windows and doors. I like to have fresh air to breathe. The temperature on the barometer in my lounge this morning was 11C.

But in a few days the sun will be out again and it will heat up to 22C outside.

Raindrops 3

Of course, I am waxing lyrical about winter here, because we have had three dry winters in a row. In the old days it would rain just about every day for three weeks at a time and you got heartily sick of it. Everything was damp; you had washing hanging inside on the clotheshorse for days before it was dry enough to put in the tumble dryer. The kids never got to play sport at school, as every afternoon was rained off.

But now, even if it did rain like in the old days, I would still welcome it, because we really need the water and it would break the drought.

Meanwhile I am very much enjoying not being hot!

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The photos show respectively, raindrops on the window with my poinsettia outside in the background and the last one is rain falling in Little Monkey’s water bowl on the stoep.

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*Table Mountain has its own little ecosystem and climate. There are about as many plant species on Table Mountain as there are in the entire British Isles. There are over 2200 species of flowering plants on the mountain, 90 species of which are not found anywhere else in the world. Click on the links for more info, or simply google Table Mountain.

 

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Snow Bush

Snow Bush 1

Snow Bush 1

Regular readers will know by now, that it doesn’t snow here in Cape Town. (Well, not on the ground anyway, but sometimes in the mountains.)

Snow Bush 2

Snow Bush 2

We might get the occasional hail storm in mid-winter.

Snow Bush 3

Snow Bush 3

But the closest we get to actual snow, could be this Snow Bush, Breynia Disticha, with its white frosted leaves;

Snow Bush 4

Snow Bush 4

Now blooming in mid-summer.

 

 

Snow Business

Snow Daisy

Snow Daisy

There’s snow Business Like Show Business!

If you’ve visited my blog lately you’ll have noticed I have activated the snow* feature. I like to see snow falling on Little Monkey, as she frolicks in the searing sunshine. You gotta know that not one single snowflake would survive long enough on its passage down through the hot air to actually land on her!

If you read my posts fairly regularly you will also know that my internet is rubbish for most of the day! This is perfectly illustrated by the falling snow! Before 8 am and after about 6 pm, snow falls in a steady stream, sometimes so fast you see three dots streaking down the page instead of one. Any other time during the day – ie when I actually want to use Word.press, the snow stops and starts and inches down the screen at a snail’s pace, or freezes altogether. Welcome to my world – of slow snow internet!

It really is quite hard to try to write a post at these peak hours, especially if I have a photo from the day that I want to add to my post! Impossible! I often end up writing a post at night and scheduling it for publication the next day. Not how I intended blogging at all. I began by writing a quick post in the afternoon, instead of having a crossword break.

It is also impossible to visit other blogs and comment. The wheel keeps on spinning and I get nowhere. So if you were wondering why I had not been commenting as much lately, here’s your answer.

To make life more interesting, we are also experiencing power cuts for two or more hours at a time. We are told, “No, it isn’t power cuts, it is load shedding.” ?????

Basically – it is power cuts, but they are supposed to tell you when you will have them. This doesn’t help either, cos you will look online (when you have power) and be told emphatically There Will Be NO Load Shedding Today – only to have your power go off, for three and a half hours with no warning!

 News flash: Yesterday morning we had two power cuts lasting a total of four and a half hours in the space of six and a half hours! So I didn’t manage to get my post out.

It is very frustrating, not to mention down right annoying. It took my daughter one hour to do a usual five minute part of her journey home the other night! Total time – an hour and a half. Why are traffic lights not on a separate system, and therefore not cut?

I can’t trust the food in my fridge, when it has been switched off for hours, as it is summer here and very hot (33C today). And I find I wake at night to hear the pool pump going at 2 am,  because I have forgotten to re-set the timer again – and again!

Still, I shall find a way to keep posting – somehow!

post script: If you want falling snow* on your blog, go to your Dashboard, select Settings in the sidebar, then General. Scroll down to the snow option and tick. Voila! You have snow till 4 Jan! I found this out from Rachel Squirrel

Are you my 5000 visitor? My stats are currently at 4999. Who will be the lucky one? Oodles of points up for grabs!!

 

Snow!

Snow

Snow

The first smattering of white lightly covers the ground.

Snow 2

Snow 2

Hey, Wait a minute! I thought you said it never snowed in Cape Town?

Snow 3

Snow 3

You’re right! This is buffalo grass and blossom.

Well what do you expect from the Other Down Under – except Other Snow?

So where is all this “snow” coming from anyway?

Syringa Tree

Syringa Tree

Hundreds of tiny white blossoms from my syringa tree in full bloom.

 

Winter in the Western Cape. Part One

Syringa Tree Winter Silhouette

Syringa Tree – Winter Silhouette

It is not always easy to notice that it actually is winter in the Western Cape, apart from it being a little chilly. So many trees here are evergreen, and some plants are in full bloom right throughout the heart of winter.

Native Capetonians may disagree with me, insisting winters here are harsh; (there are storms.) But I grew up in the north of England, where it used to snow most winters. As a kid it was magical to wake up and find snow lying thick on the ground and weighing down the bare branches of trees and the holly bush. It was not so much fun standing at the bus stop waiting over an hour for a bus to school. They were supposed to run every twenty minutes, but because of the snow, the double-deckers could not get up Mackey Hill.

Finally, frozen to my very marrow, I would walk back home to warm up a little. No sooner had I put my aching fingers on the radiator, than a bus drove past the house. Then I had to run out and try to catch it. (Complicated road system; so I had a chance of dashing across the dual carriageway and intercepting it.) So yeah, I remember winter as actually being cold; not the 9C we get in Cape Town.

Still, my Syringa tree does have a winter look about it; once all the leaves have fallen, and it stands stark against the sky with its clusters of orange berries.

Syringa Tree

Syringa Tree

Other trees have a short hiatus, when no sooner have they lost their leaves than new buds begin to sprout; like this oak tree, planted as an acorn, by a squirrel, about twenty years ago.

Oak Tree in WInter

Oak Tree in WInter

This mini series will show that all four seasons are present here right through winter. Basically, it is always summer in the Western Cape!