Snow causes such excitement in Johannesburg. I think it’s only because we don’t have it every year. It’s a novelty and we only tolerate the cold front with a bit of excitement because there is a slight chance we will have a bit of snow.
My first snow experience was way back in 1981, still at school sitting in a classroom, looking bored (mills and boon was finished) when it started snowing!! This was reported as – the first recorded snowfall in almost 26 years! It snowed for just one day and we all went home to play! Now being at school I don’t know what traffic was doing, and if it just stopped. I don’t know what businesses in Johannesburg did, did they close or slow down for the day? The worries of a school child are very different I just know we got to go home and leaving school early is a bonus anytime, never mind that we just got to leave early to play in the snow in Joubert Park!
(I just can’t find those photos, remember my dad took a few, but where are they? If I do find them I will have to post them later…)
Clarens and Drakensburg see snow almost every winter even if only on the mountain tops, sometimes (not always) they get it lower down and they too enjoy the snowman building and excitement for a day or two. All I know is that when they do have it, that is when we get those horrible cold fronts.
So my second snow memory was in 2001 sadly not in Johannesburg but in Clarens. We were still in bed on a very cold Saturday morning when we received a call from a friend telling us that Clarens had snow.
That was it! The car was packed and in less than an hour and we were on the road, the kids were so excited about this trip. This was the first time they experienced snow. Clarense was beautiful, busy and warm. We did a lot of sku (cu is the not so nice Portuguese word for bum, so add ski + cu = sku) we did a lot of that down the mountain. We had the most amazing weekend with my sister for company.
The third snow memory…..In 2007 we woke up to a surprise! Our garden was white!
We had to switch the radio on to hear news reports and confirm your-eyes-are-fine you have not gone-cookoo it is real snow in Jhb. The boys spent the day in the garden playing and building a snowman that changed outfits and hats throughout the day.
Then this year (Aug 2011) the promise came close and caused much excitement even in the office block. It was cold, freezing cold and it rained (odd for winter) then it hailed (even more odd) then some places got sleet and a few areas in Jhb did get a little bit of excitement, they got a tiny bit of snow. We didn’t all get to see it but we all did feel the cold. Maybe next year we will get a bit of that excitement even if just for one day.
Today I am glad to say it’s getting warmer, the blankets will soon be washed and put away and I’m wearing open shoes. Yeah! Toes are peeping!
The sign of spring is in the air. The colours of Jhb are still a bit yellow ochre and there is dust everywhere but we are so looking forward to spring and summer in SA. My garden is showing me that time is soon…
Look at the surprise I got this weekend (I finally ventured out into the garden)
My orchids are coming out and I will get so many this year. This is what really excites me, better than snow, it’s the little surprises in my own garden.
For now bring on summer, can’t wait for your arrival!