It’s Spring and there is an eclipse, so that must mean something.

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No it’s not me in this stockphoto, I have an actual job.

Spring has arrived in the Southern hemisphere and not a moment too soon.  I was slowly turning into the saddest person alive because of Winter. Because Winter is cold, dry, miserable and unforgiving, just like my ex.

But now we’ve finally reached a time where I can celebrate because things are about to change.  Flowers will bloom, grass will turn green and every person suffering from Rhinitis will get red, watery eyes and start to sneeze uncontrollably due to the release of pollen.  Because plants can be spiteful, just like me ex. Continue reading

Why I like Winter.

And that’s an unfathomable lie.  I hate winter more than I hate Kanye West.

FREEZING

this is me, only colder.

Down here temperatures are dropping like Kim Kardashian’s clothes on Instagram.  Trees are losing leaves faster than Taylor Swift loses boyfriends. Continue reading

Winter

Ok fine, the sunrise is still pretty amazing.

Ok fine, the sunrise is still pretty amazing.

Frozen, desolate, leafless trees sticking out of the ground like brown, bony, monster fingers breaking through the barren soil to take over the world.  An eminent threat that has chased the colour green from the landscape.

Veld fires rage with crimson breath and a smokey desire to destroy roaming grasslands and leave behind scorched, apocalyptic fields of nothingness. Continue reading

The Sounds of Winter

It was a rowdy crowd that descendant from the hill.  They came charging down, screaming with icy voices.  All the usual suspects, the culprits attending the Feast of Winter.  One could see Chilly evenings, Freezing Nights, Ice and Frost, An Orange, Warm Clothes, The Cozy Fireplace, Hot Chocolate and Some Cuddling as well.  But right up front, carrying the banner, was Mr Hope-it’s-not-bird Flue and Miss Common Cold.

If the wife was a duck, this would have been her selfie...

If the wife was a duck, this would have been her selfie…

And they were not welcome.

Continue reading

The first time she baked brownies

We were driving home after a two-hour shopping spree.  We were both drained, emotionally and physically.  Two human raisins sitting quietly, wondering how we survived it.  Again.

It is something we do once a year, as a result of feeding our kids.  You see when you feed them, they grow.  They get bigger.  Which implies that the only warm garments that still fit them are the two scarves and one beanie they have tucked beneath the heap of t-shirts.  South Africa is preparing for winter and that implies we have to ensure our kids have sufficient protection against the bitterness of the howling, freezing cold.  Unless of course you force them to wear what they have left from last season.  But then you have to accept the reality of other people thinking that they are auditioning for the chorus line of Annie.  Or Tom Sawyer. Continue reading

Smelling the season

“When you tilt the glass sideways you will see the gold colour clearly, with the strong amber and orange flashes.”  I wasn’t seeing any flashes, just the urine coloured liquid in my tilted glass.

“Ok, let’s nose it.  This implies putting your nose in the glass and breathing in through your mouth.”  Don’t blow, someone chirped.  “You should be reminded of rich aroma’s of smoked wood, vanilla and other fruity flavours.”  I didn’t smell anything, ok maybe a little bit of smoke.

“Now when you taste it, you need to identify the area of your tongue where the taste of the whisky is the strongest.  In the front implies sweet…blah blah.” I lost him at that point and took a small sip.  I swirled the strong liquor around in my mouth, making my taste buds screaming, “Yeah baby!”  I swallowed, allowing the golden liquid to stream down my throat warming my body as it goes down.

I was at my first whisky tasting.  I was a lot of fun, pretending to taste and smell all kinds of fascinating elements, that one would never assume to be in whisky.  Like cigar smoke and pears.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my whisky as much as the next guy, I just never appreciated the complexities of what goes into a bottle of Johnny.  What struck me the most was the importance of smell when tasting whisky. (spelled without the e, for it has to be Scottish, lads.)

It’s fascinating how our brain develops a shortcut between a specific smell and a specific memory.  The woody tones that we were suppose to pick up during my whisky tasting session didn’t really remind me of anything, but the orange I just ate made me sad.  Why?  Well citrus is winter food in South Africa, so by eating that orange, I have finally accepted the inevitable.  Summer is over.  Done.  Dusted. Gone.  Goodbye to the long, lazy days, the bright, crisp, early mornings and my outdoor barbecue’s.  Goodbye to short sleeves, slacks, sandals and pool cocktails.

As the smell of the orange hovers around the office, memories jump around of our fireplace at home crackling on a cold night, and me and the wife snuggling under a thick woollen blanket sharing a small glass of port.  The fact remains; even though I love oranges, the smell makes my body temperature drop with at least 5 degrees.

And then we have the smell of spring.  The strong potent smell of blossoms wafting for miles in the light breeze carrying the promise of something new.  It’s when Mother Nature get’s fed up with Jack Frost and kicks him to the other side of her planet, quite literally.  And who can argue with the smell of rain, vanilla ice-cream and coconut tanning oil?  I’m on a beach on a hot summer’s day in one second flat.  My mind paints pictures of brightly coloured umbrellas, children building dilapidated sand castles and hot bodies glistening in the sun.

Autumn is cinnamon pancakes and flue medicine.   The change of seasons implies that Mr Flue get’s his opportunity to infect all the innocent kids on earth.  He only needs to infect one, then the disease spreads like wild fire and parents across the country have to find ingenious methods of persuasion to force the medicine down their throats.  But it remains a beautiful season, with gold and brown and red and yellow and amber and orange scattered across the country side.

But the best smells are the ones that remind us of our loved ones.  Curious, a fragrance from Britney Spears, is synonymous with my wife.  I just love it on her.  Whenever I’m in an airport I always spray the tester of this fragrance at the duty free shop.  The smell creates such a vivid memory of her, better than any photo I may have with me.  And then the smell of our kids after a bath, clean and fresh, jumping on my lap.  And the smell of our home, an aroma of happiness and love…

Maybe there is some truth in the pretentious method of whisky tasting, maybe the aroma’s are there, but maybe the shortcut between those specific aromas and my memories have not been created.

Oh wait, there it is now.  Where is that bottle?