Durban, South Africa, experiences sub-tropical weather, it extends 35 km west inland actually, which is where I’ve spent much of my life. Returning after each new project, that has taken us away for months to years, and in-between travelling, this is home. Our weather is fairy moderate compared with other parts of the world but it is human nature to complain – isn’t it! On November 1st the rains arrive – and go on, and on, and on – solidly until Christmas. To be fair, we have a day or two of sunshine every 11th day or so. On New Year’s Eve the cloud cover comes and often accompanied by a storm – yay, no fireworks – happy animals. We could almost back a winning horse on New Year’s Day – the sun comes out and revellers pour onto the sandy beaches for their annual fun in the sun. Of course, New Year’s Day, 2021 was grim, grey and rainy – as per the previous year, 2020.
SOGGY MID SUMMER
February and March can be intolerably hot and sodden. It’s the humidity that catches us all. Though the sun is burning hot, it can be avoided much of the time – under trees with cups of tea, on verandahs with Gin & Tonics and hiding in air conditioned buildings, working or slothing (that is termed being a speciest as a matter of interest) on the couch surfing the net. But – the but you could hear coming in the conversation -the humidity is unavoidable, it hangs around like a heavy damp blanket in the air. Beads of perspiration run down our backs and slides through our cleavages. Laundry does not dry and takes on a revolting miffy smell and clothes hang like rags on our bodies. Leather shoes & belts turn into mouldy live creatures. Walls grow grey and green and algae turns paving into dangerous skating surfaces.
But I love those days, evenings usually, when all of a sudden, out of the blue, after days of this oppression, the weather turns on its head – storms rage in the skies and huge winds pick up everything in sight (we are not in a typical tornado or cyclone belt but they have happened in the past which is frightening as these are fairly new weather patterns here).
WE ARE LEAVING, THIS IS OUR LAST SUMMER HER!
Every summer Chris and I have promised ourselves that “this is the last summer here in this province, KwaZulu Natal!”. Stuck record. Life goes on without moving and in April the last rains fall, full moon of Easter changes the seasons like clockwork and glorious Durban winter arrives – which is blissful and crisp with clear blue skies and dry pleasant air (it does snow an hour’s drive from here but minus celsius degrees are not the norm). We fall head over heals in love with our home town once again.
Mysteriously, when the withering heat is sucked into the sky after a few days of 35 degrees in a row, interesting things happen in our area ………….….
A MIDNIGHT CELEBRATION AT OUR LOCAL NURSERY
……………. Did you hear what happened, in the Flower Park Nursery last night? It was a spectacular night of twirling and whirling, famous guests & spontaneous celebrations of a cooler day and nearly a 6 month birthday. That’s who caused all the wind!!!! Blame them for broken trees across roads and tossing garden furniture into swimming pools.
Suave Topiaries opened the floor, waltzing along the nursery pathways, braving under-branch turns and swaying gently to the rhythm whilst creepers, intertwined, swirling & twirling a fancy American Smooth between the other groovers and movers. All averting the disapproving thorny barbs and hairy eyeballs of Mr Aloe and Mrs Cactus. There is always ‘one’ in the crowd isn’t there!
Sedate lovers swayed a romantic Rumba, leaf to leaf, Salvia – in purple suits partnering pretty Angelonia – adorned in spangly pink dresses. Taken by the month of love en masse.
Guess who bopped the Charleston? Yep, the ground covers, all funky and fun with their oversized tummies in slinky black slax, dancing the flapper, bizarre movements and legomania scattering terracotta pots to safety.
Who do you think were serious enough to brave the Tango – of course, The Bonsai Family – who else could manage this austere yet sexy style!
CRAIG REVELL-OWL & CO
Simon Meowl, from Kloof’s Got Talent, sat swishing his striped tail under the Greenhouse Cafe Umbrellas, purring praise and criticism, next with Craig Revell-Owl who hunted for his 4 paddle under the table from time to time. Darcy Rustle, dressed in her strelitzia hat and fine leafery kept the boys in check. Claudia Field Mouse missed it all behind that long fringe of hers.
Hadeda birds (Ibis), banished to the furthest buildings, karaoke’d the night away, oblivious to their annoying out of tune singing whilst repainting the rooftops white. Magical Fireflies foxtrotted the airwaves overhead and glowworms did the jive along palm fronds. Hidden in the shade houses, nervous Covid averters – Mr & Mrs Fern & sons, Ma Xanadu and fashionista Philodendrons watched the party in horror. But now worries really, near gale-force wind created by those painting the town red was sufficient to blow all viruses to the Red Sea, where most living beings have already been vaccinated. So, all is good in love and war.
PARTIED OUT AND COLLAPSED IN SITU
At eight o’clock this morning, opening time, revellers lay strewn across the plant scape. Exhausted trees, broken bushes, stiff bonsai and smashed seedlings had collapsed in situ and draped all over soft bags of compost without a care in the world – partied out, happy and whispering sweet nothings into the passing breeze. Who was going to explain – who would spill the beans to The Garden Team? Probably Headmaster Snailbait and Smelly Anticide – always out to get someone doing something wrong.
So, that’s what happened at The Green House last night 😊
Who knows what really happens in the dead of night, dolls have tea parties, female cats stalk innocent mice, tomcats search for new interesting places to mark their territory, plants quiver and shake in conversation and nurseries come alive with activity. Gnomes bully toads, fairies get married and goblins cook up strange medicines. Just because we don’t see it – does not mean it does not happen!
So it seems the latest hat I have donned, together with An Elephant In My Suitcase Blog – which is my own baby, is Social Media marketing assistant for The Greenhouse Café and The Green House Property, where Chris has a wonderful team leasing portions – being The Flower Park Nursery, Labyrinth Pre School, Simply Flawless Hair & Beauty, Cara-Vanilla Ice Cream Vendor and his Café/Coffee Shop in the Durban, Upper Highway area. All of this instead of travelling, getting new dogs to keep my precious kitty company ….. and who know what else I’d be getting up to!!!!