Tag Archives: summer


Blue Sky

Haiku 281

Blue infinity

Soul-searching outer reaches

Introspective thoughts



So, I’m sitting in the garden by the pool, under the shade of the giant Eugenia, sipping my vodka, at the end of another hard day, when I hear the sound of the ice cream van, driving past my house, playing Music Box Dancer on an infinite loop.

Instantly, memories flood my inner core, of a long, lazy afternoon in Yorkshire, when my best friend Hilary and I chased the ice cream van around the neighbourhood on our second-hand bikes, buying cheap frozen ices at each stop. I was ten and she was six months younger.

A simpler, happier, time.


post script: If you’re wondering, the leaves you see in the blue sky photo above are from my ancient apple tree, not the Eugenia. And I only include them in the shot to prove that it is indeed the sky, and not a random blue picture. Yes, our sky really is that blue. 




Summer Sunshine

Summer Sunshine

And the livin’ is easy.

Admittedly, it isn’t quite summer just yet and there is often a chill in the air early mornings or evenings, but on our dog walks these days, in the late afternoon, the sun is warm on our backs. At the moment this is very pleasant, but give it a few weeks and it will be uncomfortably hot and we will walk later and later, choosing routes with maximum shade.

Little Monkey loves the sun, but I, in my Englishness, don’t like it that hot and wear a sunhat while darting from one patch of shade to the next.


post script: Summertime was composed by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess, with lyrics by DuBose Heyward and possibly also Ira Gershwin. You can listen here to Ella Fitzgerald sing it. 


Nikon-ography #5

Green 1

Green 1

How Green Was My Garden

Continuing to teach myself how to use the Nikon camera, I tried to capture the different hues of summer in my back garden.

Green 2

Green 2

So many shades of green: sometimes because that’s just how they grow, in different tones:

Green 3

Green 3

sometimes because some plants are just starting to bloom:

Green 4

Green 4

while others are preparing for autumn already.

Green 5

Green 5

You get all sorts here in the Mediterranean climate of Cape Town, with long warm summers and mild wet winters.


post script: All these shots were taken on Auto, while I familiarised myself with the camera and focus.


I’ll Still be Home on Christmas Day

I left home when I was 18, but still went home every Christmas.

I left England when I was 21. In the following years, before my parents both died, I was only “Home on Christmas Day” three times.

Though I made my own family Christmases here in South Africa, it is just not the same, celebrating Christmas in a very hot country, in the middle of summer.

Christmas will always feel a little sad to me.

So here is Elvis to sing it like it is.


Wishing those of you who celebrate it;

Merry Christmas;

and those of you who do not;

Happy Holidays. 

And sparing a thought for those who are lonely or sad at this time of year and sending you a Sunbeam!



post script: In the spirit of re-using last year’s Christmas wrapping paper, I am re-cycling last year’s Christmas post; because you can’t say it any better than Elvis. This is the first post I have ever recycled. I think I shall do this every Christmas, and start a new tradition. 


Turn Up the Heat

LM in Heat Wave

LM in Heat Wave

Even Little Monkey, (bred on the streets of Cape Town, by natural selection, to withstand the harsh southern summers), succumbs to the enervating heatwave.

Am I dreaming of a White Christmas?

You bet!


post script: What’s the white thing behind her head? It’s an empty plastic milk bottle that had treats in. Her “toy” then provides lots of fun in trying to get the treats out of the bottle. What used to take her 40 minutes now takes less than 5, but the bottle then stays by her for many days, to be chewed at will.


My First

Rose 1

Rose 1

I love the first rose of summer. This is my daughter Pix’s climbing rose.

Rose 2

Rose 2

And this is her floribunda.

The rose is such a happy romantic flower.


And since you are all singing it now anyway, (OK not all of you, but you there – yes you. I know you are!) here is a link to Barry White’s “My First, My Last, My Everything”. Enjoy!


HOT Off the Press!




Just thought I’d show you what Capetonians have to look forward to this week, weather-wise. These are the maximum and minimum temperatures for the next few days, according to Yahoo on my old iPhone.

It’s OK if there’s a bit of a breeze, but otherwise, coming from the North of England, I melt. Mind you 36C is hot even for here.

I realise that all of you snowbound in the Northern hemisphere may look at these temperatures with longing. But believe me, there is such a thing as too hot.

If you’re cold, you can always put on another jersey. But when you’re too hot, you just keep quaffing gallons of ice cold water all day, till you slosh around like a cartoon character with all the volume collapsed around your knees.

And still you melt.

The hottest I’ve ever been was living in the Northern Cape for a year, where temperatures reached 41C in summer, and it snowed in winter. This was near Kimberley (160km) and Kuruman (100km). There’s a place out there called Hotazel – no really!

And you want to know the worst? It’s not even full summer yet. February is the hottest month!


Summer in a Cape Winter. Part Three

Pretty Flower

African Daisy

Growing up in England, it never ceases to amaze me how mild a Cape Winter is. Yes I know, we have had storms and gales, but through it all, even when it has hailed, the temperatures have not dropped below freezing; or even approached it.

There is always something bright and cheery blooming away in the middle of winter; such as the poinsettia:-



the camellia:-



And not forgetting the little plant that could, then would, and still is! The debut of the azalea:-



These blooms lead right into true Spring. Today, September 1st, is actually the first day of Spring here in the Cape; and with the temperature at 28C, it looks like Summer is on the way. Already there are buds on the oak and apple trees, and the hydrangea. The hibiscus and camellia are still in flower, the frangipani has new shoots, and the bougainvillea is about to burst forth.

Pretty soon, the loquat tree will be covered in ripe fruit; the squirrels’ favourite. This makes for exciting times for my dogs; as, early in the mornings, little grey squirrels run along the top of the wall, jumping in and out of the trees, and finally make it to the loquat tree for their breakfast. They then traverse the same route back, with a loquat in their mouth. All the while, my dogs are hoping a squirrel will come their way; but the little wild things are far too clever.