Frostbite Musings               <--Prev : Next-->

This has been one of the coldest winters we have had for ages.

This particular cold spell has put paid to a lot of plans and this weekend alone we had a wedding (happy goose-pimples to Tracey and Mark) a fiftieth and a 21st all of which were planned for our normally balmy Zimbabwe winters !!

The weather pundits all say that after a cold winter, we will have good rains this year thank goodness But every night as I lie under my down- filled duvet with my electric blanket on level one, I think about the "Have Nots. " I think about the homeless, those folk who normally live in hedges with newspaper for blankets. Those elderly folk who live near the railways sleeping on the freezing cold pavements. I suppose small comfort can be drawn from the fact that there are lots of them so that all huddle together for warmth......

I think about those poor folk who spend days in queues standing in the wind on the freezing cold pavements (banks and building societies always seem to be built on the side of the street where there is no sun it would appear ! /).

Today's bank queues where you can spend up to two days in a queue only to be allowed to draw ten thousand dollars (of your own money mind you ) To out of Zimbabwe readers ten thousand dollars might sound a lot but remember that fuel is now at $1800 00 a litre, (when you can find it) a loaf of bread is $300 (when you can find it) and 500 grams of the very cheapest cut of meat is $1500 a kg.

Companies in Australia are well prepared for "sickey days" we in Zimbabwe have to give our workers two days off every month just to draw their salaries !! Think about the security guards, probably one of the most thriving businesses in this poor benighted country. Now we have had two security guards for ages, they sleep very comfortably most nights when it is warm , apart from waking up every so often to scratch mosquito bites. And in the average winter they are also pretty comfortable while sleeping (Oops sorry I mean guarding).

They love coming to work, they are provided with hand knitted gloves, hand knitted scarves, a coat that has a sheepskin lining, wooly socks and vests !! On very cold nights a brazier is provided with a ration of farm (well ex- farm really ) wood. Now Luther who has only two brain cells, rubs his gloved hands with glee at the sight of the wood and by 7 p.m. has a delightful roaring fire going and he uses all his ration of wood before the dew rises at 9 p.m. !!

But Edwell who is more circumspect, cautiously places the wood piece by piece, slowly and steadily and his warm glow lasts all night usually !! Edwell reminds me of that story of the Little Match-Girl where the tiny frozen little creature was found dead and frozen stiff beside a pile of burnt matches.

No wonder there are less homeless people in Europe, the cold must kill the poor souls off every winter.

Roll on September, I promise never to complain about the heat again !!