An African cold

Tina of the esteemed Lens-Artist quartet assures you that she is: “ looking forward to seeing your interpretation of cold. It could be snow and ice, or a frosty window pane, or even your favorite flavor of ice cream! While she inspires us to all things cold she is certainly not an ice queen or cold hearted.  To see her interpretation click here

In Africa ice accompanied cold spells are irregular and like the people of Africa: not common.  Coincidentally l used images of ice crystals for Lens Artists number #1. The wonder of Fire in Ice

In response to my contribution number #1 Tina (bless her soul) remarked: “Well Abrie, you pulled out all of the stops for our first challenge. I love your subject at both ends of the day, and the ice crystals are amazing. And only someone who is indeed “da man” would have seen that little heart. Well done my friend!!”

In life I must have done something right to receive such a comment 🙂  Thanks again and apologies for flaunting your comment Tina. I needed a bit of pepping up.

Abandoned outbuilding – multi textured photographic heaven coated in ice

On 10 September 1981 the date was engraved on many a school desk in the Johannesburg area of South Africa. On that day and only on that day in the 18 years I stayed there it snowed. The word “SNEEU” (SNOW) was therefore added to the date which reminds me:

I was 14 years old at the time and in standard 6, still young and naive enough to believe everybody wants to play. But we were forbidden to play outside because of the snow!! We had to stay inside during the breaks. This didn’t gel with my need for adventure. I organized a “strike”, no a REVOLT.  I organized some of the boys to chant with me ‘We want to play outside”. But the problem was the teacher was really beautiful. Our chant was met with an unfairly beautiful smile which melted the boys’ resolve and inspired in-action. By the third repetition of the line I was the only one chanting. My attempt to become a famous union leader melted like snow flakes before the sun. I was the mother of non-revolts.

At least in the afternoon at home I was able to build my first snowman. My opportunity to build the second one only came when my children had the opportunity to build their first – 30 years later. Oh by the the way what is the difference between Snowmen and Snowwomen – snow balls…

Cold fun

I have done a detailed Afrikaans post about our stay at Sutherland, but the photos in this post, I did not use before. While the best photos can be viewed via that post, I do belief I included some others with aesthetic appeal. I agree – this pepping up business is getting irritating.

Abandoned Bedford

Loved farm dog which loves the cold

Brown and white

We were stuck on the farm; fortunately there were a lot of frozen pizzas around


An African scene

“The value of shade is the warm sun around it”. CJ Langenhoven (translation from Afrikaans)

But in life everything is relative. On a cold day the shade of a tree is useless, indeed the value of shade is the warm sun around it. And the shade of a tree makes it a shade cooler than any other shade, because unlike a building it does not radiate heat. But nightfall diminishes the power of shade. In the sunny hours of summer the tree above will be the popular kid. While not in the middle of summer it is certainly summer and sunny in South Africa. The tree is the popular kid.

34 thoughts on “An African cold

  1. Thank you for thinking about cold in the sweltering heat Abrie 😊. Loved your schoolboy story and am touched that my comment meant a lot to you. I shall pay more attention commenting in the future. And your phots tell the story beautifully as well(especially the little doggie in the window). Laughed out loud at your snowperson (politically correct version) humor. As always, a pleasure to see your name come across my screen. Thanks for joining us


    1. Hi Tina thank you for your heart warming comment. Today was extremely hot and the American Black Friday fury is no solidly entrenched in South Africa. The storming of the Bastille uh I mean malls probably increased the heat. Maybe you should rather have given me a cold shoulder to decrease the heat 🙂 no please don’t!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John in the original Afrikaans post I included more photos of the dog. One of them – the dog alone on the white landscape – is reminiscent of Alaska,. It followed me everywhere, I wanted to take it home

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pragtige fotos. Abrie!

    I remember the Jo’burg snow of 1981 very well, and till this day it still was the only time I’ve ever seen snow! I was not even 3 years old at the time. My mom was very pregnant with my sister, born just a month later, and I asked her who was messing flour on the grass outside? My dad came home early from work, and the three of us built a snowman and threw snowballs. Such fun. And the next morning it was all gone…


  3. Your reference to snow in Johannesburg took me back to 1968 when the top of the Makhonjwa Mountains behind Barberton were covered in snow. People brought bakkie loads of snow to our school for us to get the feel of snow – a first for me too. Your ‘African scene’ is beautiful and the Langenhoven quote very appropriate – we have far too much sun around us now and need all the shade we can get!


  4. This post is fabulous, Abrie! I love the images of the ice “sandwich,” the dog (of course), the truck, all of them. Beautiful. And your sense of humor is always marvelous. I especially love your description of being the leader of the failed rebellion.


    1. Having a french surname I was chosen to do an oral on the Storming of the Bastille at school once. Unfortunately I was not able to replicate this fervor and bravery during the attempt to storm the playground


  5. Abrie – indeed you have a beautiful mind! And a way with words that so often makes me smile. A warm story of what one day of cold can do…love “the difference between”…as well…My cold heart is suddenly much warmer – and the farm dog is a gem. Thank you for joining in the fun making it even more fun!


    1. A beautiful mind that is the title of a movie – I am honoured. Having read your comment i am busy with a legal process to claim the royalties which was never paid to me. Thanks Leya


      1. Haha – love you as always, Abrie! Yes, I know about the movie, a beautiful one too. People surely can be beautiful in many ways – you should never worry about that. And – I hope you get paid in the end.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. What a lovely post! Brought back memories for me too as I was living in Joburg on that fateful date when it snowed in ’81. And yes we did make a snow(wo)man and we did have a snowball fight (which involved some alarmingly deceitful surprises). Great photos and I really love the “perfect date” discussion 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Abrie. Your story telling was a pleasure to read. Enjoyed the bit of humour thrown in. I also loved the farm dog photo. Great post! ❤


Ek waardeer jou bydrae/ Please add to the conversation

Verskaf jou besonderhede hieronder of klik op 'n logo om in te teken: Logo

Jy lewer kommentaar met jou rekening by Log Out /  Verander )

Twitter picture

Jy lewer kommentaar met jou rekening by Twitter. Log Out /  Verander )

Facebook photo

Jy lewer kommentaar met jou rekening by Facebook. Log Out /  Verander )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.