the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

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This weekend (last week, actually), saw Autumn arrive, and arrive emphatically. Personally, I love this time of year in the UK. Summers are nice, but while there are differences, it just doesn't feel all that different to what I grew up with. And apart from thunderstorms, there wasn't much about summer I ever enjoyed in South Africa. It's just not a special season to me.

Autumn and winter, on the other hand, are something else. Not only is it colder, but the shorter days and grey and wet climate are nothing like Highveld winters, where it never rains, it's a dry season, with permanently blue skies. Bah.

It's also related to the lifestyle - in Joburg, in the middle of winter, I'd put on a jersey, open the front door, dash to the car, switch on the heating, drive to work, walk across the parking lot into the office, and be warm. It's cold outside, but you're generally insulated from it - winter just isn't an outdoorsy season in South Africa.

Here, I have a 12 minute walk to the station on this end - then commute and have a 13 minute walk from the tube station to work on the other end. So winter for me means wearing coats, dressing warmly, strolling down streets in the dark, often-drizzly weather, heavy grey clouds all the time. I love it.

I realised one thing that's different, though. The leaves started falling last week, and with the weekend winds, there were huge piles of leaves everywhere. Beautiful stuff. We had Leo out playing in the leaves yesterday afternoon, he had a ball.

You'd have a similar thing in Joburg. The difference I realised today, is that in dry-winter Joburg, the leaves get blown away, the remaining few in nooks and crannies, drying up, getting dusty and covered in cobwebs. Here, after last night's rain, the lovely dry leaves we were playing around in yesterday afternoon, have all gone soggy, already turning into sludge, and they're going to stay there, rotting, until Spring.

Much like my first experience of snow here - beautiful when it first falls, then just freezing black mud for a few days, this is the less glamourous side of my romantic winter preconceptions. But nonetheless, it's my favourite time of year. Bring on the grey!

{2008.10.21 - 18:01}


1 Chris (2008.10.27 - 02:42) #

The grey and drizzle is why I left you sicko ;-)

So glad you enjoy the 10 months of the year that are like that :-)

Cape Town on the other hand (Darren) is sunny and brilliant!


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