Sunday, January 21, 2007

Feeling hot hot hot

I remember back in August sitting at my computer, my feet slowly turning to ice in the draughts, reading blogs about heatwaves, beach trips and ice cream. Now it’s my turn to swelter as you all shiver. It’s hot hot hot! Summer stepped up a notch this weekend. Yesterday a fierce wind blew from the east over the land, heating up as it went. The only thing to do was to shut ourselves inside our relatively cool straw bale house, that retains the night-time cool most of the day, as long as you keep all the doors and windows tight shut. We only braved the scorching wind for a foray to the swimming pool to refresh ourselves and work off some energy.

Today was better with a gentler wind from a more sensible direction. The sun was still fierce enough to burn through factor 40 sun cream on my shoulders this morning at the pool. We were there for ages, scrubbing off the incipient algae, anything to put off the moment of getting out of the water and being instantly hot again. Lunchtime saw us sealed inside the house, though the cool was by now only relative to the outside temperature. Some quiet time on computers, jigsaw puzzles and play. Ice lollies doled out and then another swim.

A braai was declared as the only possibility for the evening meal, the thought of cooking anything inside the now less than cool house unappealing. My husband, the braai master, heroically braved the hot coals to turn the spicy chicken wings and boerewors sausage until they were cooked to perfection.

His trade secret is to keep my Le Creuset casserole on the side of the braai, with a generous slug of white wine in. The sausage goes into this as soon as it is cooked and makes an amazing sauce with the juices and wine amalgamating mmmmmm..

The children found a new way of cooling off in the sprinklers.

Our foofy slide is a pulley on a sloping wire with a bar attached to hang from, leaping from the step ladder you can go at a fair speed. Very refreshing with the sprinkler to swoosh through.

The wind was starting to cool and, though it brought a haze of smoke from a bush fire somewhere miles away, felt fresher. We sat outside on the stoep licking spice from our fingers and dipping potatoes into the sausage juices and felt that it doesn’t get much better than this...except for the homemade strawberry ice cream in cones for afters.

Tonight we have the relief of evening cool, that was denied us yesterday with that hot inland wind, so all the doors and windows are flung open wide, the crickets and frogs chorus and the new moon sets behind our hill.


  1. I had a little wheeze of homesickness and got a bit tearful reading this post, because braais, pools, foofy slides and sitting on stoeps were what my childhood were all about and you evoke it SO beautifully.

    Sorry to hear how hot you are though ...

  2. wonderful post. I began to taste the flavors of the barbecue and am now seriously craving a little warm weather and coal action! ah, c'est la vie, no? To always prefer that which is just out of reach...

  3. Thank you my friend for this timely I sit here and freeze my bum and look out at a frozen tundra. Your writings are so vivid and I can almost feel that hot furnace like wind and smell the barbeque and mouth is watering and summer is in my soul again...but then I look out the window :) Are braais a grill for cooking outdoors? The foofyslides just sounds like a hoot...I'll have to remember these terms. What kind of meat is in the sausages?

  4. I'm glad the summer heat reached you all over the net!
    Sorry to bring tears to your eyes Charlotte.
    Nicolle, I could do with some of your wintry cold, just a little blast of ice to freshen things.
    Braai is South African for barbeque, Jenny, but they are very particular here about using the right sort of wood etc and are very dismissive of gas barbeques and the like.
    Boerewors is a South African sausage, made with beef and pork and spices - there are a hundred and one varieties - we currently like Grabouw boerrie.


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