When one is born in the tropics, one gets out of bed and puts on exactly 2 items of clothing!! Shorts and shirt! No need for shoes, no need for socks. As one gets older maybe a couple of underwear garments appear necessary, and one's mum always yells 'have you got a hat'!
Our backyards provided every bit of entertainment we ever needed. Trees which needed climbing to get the apples and oranges, fences to balance on and walk along, taps from which to drink, veggie gardens upon which to snack, shade to rest in, mud to play in, wide yards as soccer fields, washing lines as badminton nets.
A lengthy visit to the Arctic Circle has been very stressful for us Africans!! 'Sweden has a glorious week of summer' the pundits say, and the remaining 51 weeks require a lot of effort!!
The amount of effort one spends dressing and undressing oneself is exhausting. One is never 'cold' in Sweden one is merely 'badly dressed'!!
The homes are divine, as warm as toast, but stepping out of doors requires massive effort. The golden rule is 'three layers' meaning fine pure merino long johns and long sleeved top, two pairs of wool socks, a warm woollen jumper preferably cowl necked, a pair of warm lined trousers, and on top of that snow and rain proof leggings. The outer coat is a full length 100% down parka with a hood, although a double lined woollen beanie is also advisable plus a woolen scarf or even a Balaclava !! Boots, fur lined, waterproof and slip proof !!
Give yourself half an hour for this exercise, or if you have a five year old, count on about an hour!! That requisite snow suit requires a lot of cajoling, pushing and pulling!!
Ah but now back in Bulawayo and happily clad in shorts and tee shirts once again!!