Monday was a particularly chilly and windy winter's day in Bulawayo. As the pundits said 'there is snow on the Berg in S.A.!'
In the Suburbs the gardeners were all watering the verges 'upwind' and none of them were undertaking the thankless task of sweeping up the millions of Jacaranda leaves that were falling from the leaves like rain. Someone said they had seen the first flowering Jacaranda tree on Facebook last week, unusual in July as most of them have not even lost their leaves fully.
As I bundled off to the shops in my nice toasty car, my heart broke for the tramps who were all lined up in a supine position on the lush grass in the sunny Centenary Park. How cold their night must have been for them to all be fast asleep at ten am in the morning.
Their ragged coats hugged their thin emaciated shoulders as the sun shone on them and hopefully warmed their frail bones.
Further down past the park slogged the ice cream vendors, pushing their ice cream carts slowly and laboriously up Leopold Takawira Avenue in the vain hope that someone might buy an ice cream on this freezing cold day!
I noticed that the cannas had been cut down in the park near the fountain, but the park was bright and festive with multitudinous yellow daisy buses and red salvia.
On the bridge outside the Theatre sat another tramp, leaning against the warm brick of the bridge, stuffing his mouth with a bag of rotten Maze oranges someone had put in one of the City Rubbish Bins. The skins were scattered all around him, but on my way back home, an hour or so later, I noticed he had scooped them all up out of sight!
The petrol attendant had ice cold hands when I handed him the car keys to unlock the petrol cap, and all the taxi drivers were sitting in their nice warm cars instead of sitting outside on benches, gossiping as they normally do.
The vendors selling their corn curls, cigarettes and sweets on their makeshift tables, were sheltering against the wind up against one of the City's new bright yellow plastic trash bins, their wares in the shade but their bodies in the sun.
The security guards outside shops and business premises were stamping their feet and blowing on there hands, silently saying thank you that they were the day shift and not the night shift!!
By eleven o'clock I had taken off my coat, by twelve midday my next layer was lying on the seat of the car.
The wind had dropped, the cold almost gone, to return again at around four pm. The tramps had woken and were sunning themselves upright.
It was another perfect Zimbabwean day, and I thanked God for my life here in Bulawayo.