…till our beloved South African summer. Although the feeling that summer brings must be universal, there is something special about summertime in Mzansi.
Braai’s are the norm…especially on Saturdays. Saturdays are synonymous with a rugby game. As you drive through the suburbs the whiff of smoky fires tickle your nostrils and the excitement of the weekend gets to you. It is great.
If I think back to my childhood, I remember long, hot days in the street playing tennis, skipping rope and “kennetjie”. Those were good days. Many days we would spend at the public swimming pool which was literally in our backyard. My mother has a natural fear of water so we were not allowed to go for swimming lessons. (Very embarrassing as I still cannot swim). So we would just hang out and watch the boys…
At one stage my father owned a VW camper kombi. It came complete with a daybed and cupboard space ready for camping anytime, anyplace. As the mood swung, we would jump in and take a drive to the beach.
My father's kombi looked almost like this one
My father is a great music lover and in those days, the cars on the road still only had cassette players. The volume would be up as the kombi’s engine made a lot of noise. We would be singing along to Bob Marley’s “Jamming” or UB40’s “Red red wine”. Gordon’s Bay is very windy and about 45 km from Paarl. Nonetheless, if we could have 30 minutes of wind-free swimming, the trip would be worthwhile.
Then Christmas time would come. Family would come visit from far and we would make one big “christmas bed” in the living room. All the cousins would sleep there and make fun right through the night. Mamma, my granny, would lead us with carols by the Christmas tree every night before bedtime.
How times have changed. We are all grown up. I now live in Johannesburg, away from sand, surf and sea. Our summers are rainy and stormy. People don’t drive out that much here. In Paarl we have mountains and braai facilities almost everywhere. We have rivers and beaches. However, I have to make the best of it…after all I have kids. Here is a lot to do in Jozi. Like spending time at the lakes.
Braaiing at Florida lake
What is your favourite pastime during summer? Do you have any special memories of summer while growing up?