I’m so glad Mr Winter has decided to give us one last cold snap. Well, it might actually not be the last… but it’s a good one! In fact, I think it’s snowing in the Drakensberg as we speak. Or at least it was snowing yesterday and throughout most parts of last night. No doubt there were a lot of excited kids that woke up this morning, only to look out through their windows and admire a beautiful white blanket of snow – turning their familiar surroundings into a playground.
I must admit I do love the cold. It’s just so very, very cosy! There is nothing better than wrapping yourself up in a blanket, making a cup of hot chocolate (with marshmallows and whipped cream) and parking off in front of the fire place to enjoy a good book.
The thing is, when it’s cold, there are at least ways and means of getting warm. You can have a hot bath, you can wear layers and layers of warm clothes, you can wrap yourself up in blankets, you can drink delicious hot drinks, you can light the fireplace or you can turn the heating on. But when it’s stinking hot, on the other hand, here’s not much you can do to cool down. Ok, so you can sleep in an air-conditioned bedroom and wake up with a sore throat and tight, prune-like dry skin. And you can have a cold shower or a quick dip in the pool. But five minutes later you’ll be sweating again, no matter how hard you try to stay cool.
Growing up in Norway I remember being snowed in when visiting our cottage in the mountains. I also remember hoping that the temperature would drop below -20ºC, which meant that schools would close and we could stay at home and play outside in the snow with our friends. We would get our skis, skates and sleds out at once. We would throw snowballs at people’s cars and windows, then hide in the bushes – giggling away at the angry voices of grumpy old men shouting at us. We would make beautiful snow angles and snowmen, or alluring snow tunnels in between each other’s yards. We would also dare each other to lick a metal fence, because when it’s cold enough your tongue will get stuck and you’ll have to use hot water to peel it off slowly… Ah, the memories!
I bet there will be lots of South African ski and snowboard enthusiasts heading for Lesotho’s Afriski or the Eastern Cape’s Tiffindell this weekend. Personally, I’d love to dig my beanie, scarf and gloves out of the cupboard and head up to the Nottingham Road. Once there I’d go for a long leisurely walk to breathe in the crisp, fresh air and feel the cold on my face. Afterwards I’d blissfully settle down in front of the fire place at Notties Pub with homemade Beef & Guiness pies, a few bottles of red wine, good mates and plenty of board games.