Saturday, 28 February 2009


The first shoots appeared this week. Signs of life, shyly bursting into green. Excited, active plants always make me happy.

It's only now I realize that I never had a summer this year.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009


Today I feel far away again. Usually, in the rush of to-ing and fro-ing, in publications, buses, graphs and snow, I'm too busy to really think about it. Today the distance is palpably present in every email and conversation and piece of paper I come across.

This is home. After good rains, about a year ago. With dusty sky, rusty fences, limping gates, the smell of acacias, prickly katbosse, guinea fowl, screeching windpompe, the co-op's grain silos in the distance. And the rich red soil that can, at times, seem so harsh.

I miss it.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Monday, 2 February 2009


I wake up, check my email and find:

"The [seminar] tomorrow will run from 10:00-12:00 rather than 09:00-12:00. However, keep watching your emails in case the weather gets worse and we reschedule."

Bad weather?

I open my curtains, it takes a moment or two to realize the high contrast world outside is covered by snow. Not much, 5-8cm. But enough to make everything thoroughly white. Or at least monochrome.

I pull my boots on and run/slip off to the Itchen. A wide open expanse of more whiteness, skirted by the dark water of the river. On the football fields, a battle is being fought with snowballs, while an army of snowmen is born in the background.

Away from the excitement, in the quieter parts of the park, some unspoilt snow can still be found. The silence always surprises me: the noise of the city is swallowed, leaving you with only the scrunching of your footsteps.

At some point, I turn around and see how easily my tracks scarred the soft snow. I realize again how apt the phrase "virgin snow" is.