I don't know what is it about winter and donuts. A slight drop in temperature and I need to have one, desperately. You'd swear that I've never seen a donut before, or that we've been going through a donut famine... but I'm strangely compelled by something larger than my stomach and ego put together. I suspect that it's a recessive bear-gene and the need to hibernate. You should see me on one of my donut hunting expeditions. It's like watching an episode of Tarzan and Jane. And I'm not Jane.
But come Summer, and I'll be like "Donut? What's that?". Total denial.
So, we've gone from high's of 25°C (77F) on Tuesday to 13°C (55F) two days later. Winter has finally arrived, a little later than usual, making her grand entrance and announcing her stay for the next four months. That's four months of deceptively bright brilliantly blue skies and 10 hours of pure sunlight every day. We have exceptionally beautiful winter days... they're like the beautiful evil bitches of a movie: captivating but deadly. And generally the more beautiful the day, the colder it is.
No matter how deceptively beautiful our winter days are, I still don't like them. I only ever like winter when I'm in the Northern Hemisphere. I prefer grey clouds. Lots of them. That way, you know what to expect. There's no empty promises there. During my stay in London, my body had acclimatized itself, and any day it was 13°C was considered a warm day fit for a picnic and I'd usually leave all the polar-bear apparel at home and enjoy the "warmth". Here, it's 13°C and we're dying, wearing everything that we can find, except Mother's curtains.
Amsterdam was worse. A midday high of -6°C (21F). In hindsight, it wasn't that bad. It's amazing what you can become accustomed to, and all you have to do is want to become accustomed to it. In fact, we became so used to the -6°C (21F) weather, that when we went to Paris and it was all of 6°C (42F), it was HOT! I can specifically remember complaining about how HOT it was!
I think what makes South African winters unpleasant is that we don't have the infrastructure to accommodate this kind of weather because we never needed it before. The result is that central heating is a foreign concept, not a standard. But with changing global weather patterns, our once mild winters are becoming a thing of the past and from tonight, we dip into sub-zero territory with -2°C (28F) as a minimum.
But aside from the cold, my number one problem with winter is the donuts. And my compulsions aren't limited to donuts alone. Basically, you can add any item under the category of "FOOD". Junk food in particular. It's like I don't eat the entire year just so that I can make up for it between May and August every year. And it's such total rubbish innit. I mean, there are people out there that can't keep warm in this miserable weather, and I'm complaining because I can't keep my mind of donuts!
It is quite ironic that I don't feel the same way in the Northern Hemisphere though. I've been feeling so nostalgic today, it's sickening sentimental poo.
I woke up this morning with a bloodshot right eye. I freaked out. "Please don't be conjunctivitis" I thought to myself. The last thing I need right now is to add conjunctivitis to my growing list of ailments. I still haven't recovered from my little waltz with Bronchitis and I was advised that it would be in my best interests to stay wrapped up indoors until all traces of it have absconded for better bacterial infection prospects elsewhere.
It was good advice seeing as I had 3 different family members in hospital with Bronchial-Pneumonia and several others confined to their beds; bonding, making new friends and forming wonderful relationships with their pillows and duvets. And I've been playing by the rules. I even declined fellow SA blogger Uzayr's invitation to meet up with some of his friends. He wasn't too pleased, must've thought I had a stick up me arse.
I just returned from a funeral. I'm still in shock. She was an aunt in my extended family, contracted Bronchial-Pneumonia a few weeks ago, was hospitalized and passed away suddenly. She was barely 40 years old. This is the second funeral in my extended family in the last month. The last one was also related to Bronchial-Pneumonia. It was also sudden, a shock. He was 16. There are 2 others still in hospital, although one seems to be recovering.
I feel somewhat paralysed. I don't know if it's because of the shock and the sudden-ness of it all, or if it's because I've become so numb to the idea of death, that I can't grieve. I've tried to understand death before. I've spent hours, days, weeks thinking about it... rationalizing, debating, trying to comprehend. I've even invited death over for tea to contemplate and ponder over the nature of loss. But for all my knowledge, it's still something I cannot fathom. I cannot wrap my mind around it. The concept eludes me. It's like I'm living in perpetual denial without my consent. I'm confounded. I'm dumbfounded.
I will miss her.
I will miss her.
إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّ ـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ - Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un "Surely we belong to God and unto Him we shall return" (Qur'an 2: 156)
The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.
--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
~ One Art by Elizabeth Bishop