Wednesday, June 26, 2019

FREEZING IN JOHANNESBURG


                                                         
                                      cold-weather-cartoons - clip art - free clip art - NX91jd

Being a grandma is the most fun one can think of, but the cold in Johannesburg is another thing altogether. Absolutely wrong timing, I say, having a baby at the start of winter, when wet wipes, bum cream, diapers, cold hands and red, flowing noses are the norm. And with a brand new baby in hand, one who is so tiny that he gets lost in his clothes, the cold gets to one all the more.

Let me speak for myself. I, for one, love winter when it is just right, along with a steaming hot cuppa green tea, a warm shawl, thick socks and just a nip in the air. However, when the temperature drops and I cannot feel my toes, and wooden toilet seats feel better than ceramic ones, it is time to tuck in and hibernate.

Green Tea cartoon clip art - KISS png

Grandmas, of course, cannot hibernate. They are the go-to persons as far as the first hand chores go. Not that I mind, because the warmest I feel is when I wash dishes in water scalding enough to take my skin off. Priyanka, my daughter, clucks impatiently as she almost burns her hands after I have had a go at the dishes. But anything to stave off the cold, I tell her.

 Washing Dishes - Cliparts Zone

Going out is a chore in itself. I lug on the layers, blow on my icy hands, and rush into the car which is mercifully heated. Likewise, the baby’s bedroom is heated and it is bliss to stay ensconced within the duvet till the time it is time to burp, change or rock the baby to sleep. Four of us snuggle in the warmth of the heater – Grandma, mama, and the two kids, though the big sister, Zoya, sleeps in her own cot, replete with a pretty duvet, a sparkly unicorn, a bald baby doll and a sequinned bunny. Of course, we need to check whether the warm, furry thing on the bed is the cat, Tyrion, who loves a quick snuggle himself.

When we got here in May, the weather was perfect – sunny days and balmy evenings. June waltzed in with the chill setting in. At first, I couldn’t understand why people around smirked when I asked them if it was going to get colder soon. Now, I know! As the old song goes, “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.” In my case, the chill in Jo’burg falls mainly on my bones! Or is it Jo’brrrg!     
Orcas Issues
            
Come morning, husband dear gets togged up in his warm jacket, his woollen cap and his gloves and sets off on a brisk walk. “Coming for a stroll?” he asks. One look at my horrified face is enough to elicit a chuckle as he strides off in true military style. As a result, despite the rich food we eat here, he looks the same, even as, in my case, I find calories sneaking in and making their homes in my entrails. Or wherever it is they hide away!

June is on its way out and if I were to misquote T S Eliot, I believe that July is the cruellest month. Temperatures are going to drop further, and I can only imagine the state that I will be in... Frozen, and in no state to mimic Elsa and sing ‘The cold never bothered me anyway.” (Let It Go)


Elsa - Frozen - PopSugar

Instead, I will be like an Eskimo, covered from head to toe, just my eyes peering out from within the layers, attempting to hibernate as much as possible. Probably scaring myself when I peer into a mirror and see visions of a Death Eater, courtesy Harry Potter. Cloudy skies, freezing winds and a frost that bites into the bones... time for braais and barbeques, warm fires and hot beverages, desperate glances at the elusive sun and new woollen clothes that hopefully look smart. So folks, if you do not hear from me in July, think of my fingers wrapped in mittens, unable to type, as I contemplate on the month of August when the cold starts abating, maybe by the 14th or so. Shucks, the day we leave for the warmer climes of India!

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For as P B Shelley put it so aptly, “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”



            

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FREEZING IN JOHANNESBURG

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