Monday, January 24, 2022

the hottest place on earth

Well, so it was predicted on Friday, a day when we couldn't really even comprehend of how hot it would get. 

It got incredibly hot.

This last weekend Cape Town surpassed its own hottest recorded temperature ever by 3 degrees Celsius and clocked in a whopping 45.2C on Saturday.

It's been confirmed that we were the hottest place in southern Africa and you know, we'll take it. No need to go into direct competition with mid Australia ffs - Saturday and Sunday were hot enough and scary enough, we don't need any more accolade than that.

It was a weekend for lying down and avoiding really. And that's mostly what we did. 

Lying down and napping with the blinds closed. Drinking litres of water and moving slowly and mainly trying not to think about climate change.

Our children might never live on the same planet as polar bears Frieda tells her sister over dinner.

Yeah but, people told us that when we were younger too I say, and you do. 

Now recycle that container and don't use too much water rinsing it out.

Balancing the messaging is hard.

Then on Sunday we received a clip from family in the UK, a short capture from The Green Planet - Sir David Attenborough's latest series on BBC. It features an interview with my little brother.

My little brother as a whole ass PHD on ecology change being featured in an Attenborough series. Five year old Frieda would have EXPLODED with wonderment and joy. Fourteen year old Frieda was pretty damn excited. As were we all.

The clip was on fire (our fynbos needs it) and particularly the fire lilies which lie dormant for years (and years) waiting for fire and then blooming within days of one - making themselves the only source of nectar for miles and guaranteeing pollination (seems rather dramatic but then, nature). The takeaway was that fires are getting more frequent, hotter, faster and fragile ecosystems like this are in real danger.

Sobering stuff. And yet also, miraculous.

As is life.

PS, while writing this post I came across this one, and it seemed an apt reminder that we've been at the brink of societal collapse before... and also, jeez we've weathered a LOT in recent years.

Monday, January 10, 2022

weathering it...

I cannot explain how much better the first week of January feels this year in comparison to last.

Last year there was so little light coming down the tunnel, so little reason to feel optimistic. And I'm not even talking about Tr*mp and the storming of the Capitol, just about Cape Town and lockdown and how we never thought we'd get vaxxed or back to any semblance of proper life ever again. We'd never started a year so glum and uninspired.

But here we are. Things are easier. And whatever fuckening might be waiting just down the road, I'm having a moment of deep gratitude for how far we've come and how much easier and lighter things have been this holiday season.

We spent two 4-day stints on either side of Christmas in our favourite Onrus with some of our oldest friends.

And Christmas, Christmas was glorious.

All the sweeter for having spent last Christmas all apart, for being our first time hosting, for everyone being well and relaxed and happy. Magic.

We've weathered this storm alright, all things considered. As have many of my dearest friends, who for a time there looked like they'd never come out the other side.

A friend who got retrenched back in April 2020 has found a new, rewarding, fulfilling, bill-paying job after nearly two years of hustle and high stress.

Another who was facing a failing relationship back then, exacerbated by lockdowns and general weirdness, is happily blissed out with a new partner, after a long time of heartache and self-doubt and pain.

Friends who very nearly lost their home are clawing their way back up the credit-rating ladder, finally able to relax their jaws slightly and step back a bit from the daily anxiety of trying to keep their lives together.

The girls are back to full class, full time, in person school in a couple of weeks. Our curfew, the last of the Covid restrictions, was lifted on 31 Dec. Our National State of Disaster, 666 days old today, is most likely to be lifted soon.

Cautiously, cautiously, optimistic.