This year there have been some particularly chilly and windy winter's days in Bulawayo. As the pundits say 'there is snow on the Berg in S.A.!'
In the Suburbs the gardeners all water their verges 'upwind' and none of them are looking forward to undertaking the thankless task of sweeping up the millions of Jacaranda leaves that will be soon falling from the leaves like rain. July is when the Jacaranda enthusiasts start 'Jacaranda Spotting ', its always a competition in Bulawayo to see who spots the first Jacaranda in flower!!
As I bundle off to the shop in my nice toasty car, my heart breaks 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 hug their thin emaciated shoulders as the sun shines on them and hopefully warms their frail bones.
Further down past the park slog 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 notice that the cannas have been cut down in the park near the fountain, but the park is bright and festive with multitudinous yellow daisy buses and red salvia.
On the bridge outside the Theatre sits another tramp, leaning against the warm brick of the bridge, stuffing his mouth with a bag of rotten Maze oranges someone has put in one of the City Rubbish Bins. The skins are scattered all around him, but on my way back home, an hour or so later, I noticed he has scooped them all up out of sight!
The petrol attendant has ice cold hands when I handed him the car keys to unlock the petrol cap, and all the taxi drivers are 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, are sheltering against the wind up against one of the City's plastic trash bins, their wares in the shade but their bodies in the sun.
The security guards outside shops and business premises are 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 have taken off my coat, by twelve midday my next layer is lying on the seat of the car.
The wind has dropped, the cold almost gone, to return again at around four pm. The tramps have woken and are sunning themselves upright.
It is another perfect Zimbabwean day.