Vive le (temperature) difference

Much mirth and merriment on SA Twitter yesterday as the UK basked in a “heatwave”, getting up to (in some cases) the low to mid 30s Celsius.

I’m sharing this one example, not for any other reason other than because I particularly enjoyed it:

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Amateurs indeed.

But, as your lovable local “Soutie“, can I just make the case for the other side too?

Because when you Saffas are all:

OMG! It’s so cold. I’m FREEZING! #hypothermia

throughout the winter months, while it’s a balmy 15ºC… well… how do you think I’m looking at you?

It’s almost – almost – as if the climatic conditions in the UK and SA are generally quite different, thus giving the local populaces disparate reference ranges for their understanding of “normal” weather and temperatures.

Who knew, hey? 🙂

Here and There

It’s no surprise that it’s around this time of year that the meteorological differences between my hometown and my adopted hometown are at their most distinct and obvious. That said, it’s always something of interest when there’s concurrently snow in Sheffield and a heatwave in Cape Town. Yesterday was one of those days.

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That’s Sheffield on the left, by the way.
Eagle-eyed readers with knowledge of the False Bay coastline (it’s a small subset, but it must apply to someone), will already have noted that Fishhoek, Simonstown and the rest of the Peninsula are missing from the horizon on that apparently rather washed out second shot. That’s due to the thick smoke from the fires currently burning in Elgin over the weekend, (as you can see from the helpfully annotated image below).
Sadly, I don’t think this view will be quite the same a it was a couple of weeks ago.

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Meanwhile, as Flickr friend SheffDave’s photostream confirms, things were altogether colder and whiter in the Steel City.

Personally, I don’t particularly mind either sort of weather, as long as I know it’s coming. The effects of the snow and cold can be overcome with warm clothing (or finding a pub with a fire); the somewhat unpleasant heat by wearing fewer clothes (or being lucky enough to live in a house with a swimming pool).

Drink water fam

It has been a thoroughly depressing start to the year in South Africa: the economy and the currency are tanking, the exam results weren’t great (allegedly), the heatwave and drought are biting, farmers are suffering, prices are rising (and seem likely to rise further) and all in all there seems to be a very limited amount to look forward to right now.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the “speak first, think later” nature of social media, Facebook and Twitter have reacted poorly, with arguments over everything – some reasonable, many not – as the under- and over-sensitive members of society continue to find myriad reasons to offend and be offended. And if that wasn’t enough, the whole situation is generating thinkpieces and open letters like there’s no tomorrow.

Won’t somebody please think of the children?
Actually, won’t someone please just. think.

But there are still occasional gems if you’re willing to wade through the BS. The heatwave is hitting our neighbours in Botswana too, and the government there is warning their citizens on twitter:

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I’m not sure that the science is absolutely right (in fact, I’m pretty sure that the science is absolutely wrong), but it does get the message across, which is the important thing.
And, because the sun actually is technically a bit closer to the guys in the picture, if you have such beasts in your back garden, make sure you look after them too.