I had an epiphany!

If you’re not in Europe right now, you may not know, but we are going through a period of what could be described as “really fucking cold.”

Yes, yes, I hear you say, but it’s winter. What happens in winter in the Northern hemisphere is that it gets really cold. Why does it seem to amaze the Brits every single year that in the winter it gets cold?

Well, ok but this year is particularly cold. Last year there were a few days of the -15 variety but this year we are having week upon week of feels like -12. Many days never get out of the minus zone at all, and feel like -9 at midday. That is cold. It is too cold where I live to even snow. How depressing is that. I love snow, and in Scotland they have metres of the stuff, but in my town it’s too cold to even snow. I have icicles hanging off my building. Our canal is frozen. I tested, and you could stand on it.

And I have a little secret to share with you. After 7 years of living here, I have finally cracked the code of:


I am going to share my knowledge with you, especially you naive little South Africans, but listen up, you actually have to pay attention and do what I say, because every single one of us Saffas, and I mean every single one, who comes to the UK, does the following:

Oh my god it’s so cold so cold so cold how do people live like this it’s so so so cold I’m so miserable I can’t ever leave the house I will sit here and gain 20kgs instead and moan incessantly while wearing only the University rugby jersey I wore back at home in winter, where I still froze to death and complained about the cold.

South Africans are damn fools when it comes to dealing with the cold and I can’t exactly figure out why. Durbanites are excused, it’s not our fault. But in other parts of the country it gets really damn cold, but everyone insists on wearing one pullover and strops and being pathetic. And then we all come to the UK and do the same.

So after 7 years, my secret to surviving UK winters is….

Dress Warmly.


IT really works. If you dress properly you can walk around outside feeling happy and snug, and even enjoy yourself.

What it takes for me to be comfortable outside right now:

stocking under my jeans
two pairs of thick socks
thick soled shoes
thin jersey for walking around work
fleece zip-up as my base layer
huge puffy coat stuffed with down
flappy-eared hat (there is probably a more technical term for this piece of apparel, but I come from Durban. It’s not my fault)
huge cycling gloves given to my by a colleague

And when I dress like that, I can do anything. Why it took me 7 years to come to this revelation I do not know. But every year before this I have been walking around like a tit half dressed and complaining endlessly about the cold.

Now I may not look cool but I don’t give a shit because I am warm and can conquer the whole word with my flappy-eared hat.

So if I hear one more whiny South African complain about the cold while wearing one pullover I am going to have to …. give them another 6 years at least to come to their poor frozen senses.

South Africans – we mean well but we can’t dress to save our lives.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sparkles
    Dec 03, 2010 @ 08:15:15

    hah hah I dress the same way except I wear one pair of thick socks over my stockings not two. thick soled shoes are very important coz the cold can really get in from your soles n numb feet suck.

    I just go to europe during winter for holidays so it’s fun :P living through it = not so fun. looking forward to February, snow for 3 weeks, then back to summer in Durban!

    I never understood white guys in Durban who wear jerseys with shorts n slops in winter?!?!


  2. DT
    Dec 03, 2010 @ 21:55:45

    I am guilty of this every October and November in Cape Town. I wear my summer dresses almost in ridiculous defiance! It isn’t yet warm enough to leave the coat at home but from years and years of having summer start on the 1st of September in Joburg – I wear my scantily clad summer gear because I cant bear the thought that there is still two months or more to go of winter! I too need to learn my lesson!


  3. Shannon
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 23:50:42

    I am having the opposite experience. After three years of living in Boston, where when the temperature creeps up to about 55 degrees (I don’t have the energy to convert to Celsius right now, I think it’s like 12 or 13) people rock up in shorts and tank tops like it’s a Mediterranean summer, I am in Cape Town where one will routinely see people wearing scarves and pea coats when it is about 70 degrees and I am rolling in jeans and T-shirts wondering why people are pretending they are cold.


  4. Po
    Dec 06, 2010 @ 21:06:51

    Aw guys, this is so funny. over on Peas on toast’s blog she has a post about the pretty snow in London, and she was walking around in the morning taking pics, and in one of her pics she captured a guy wearing only a South African rugby jersey, in the freezing cold, trying to defrost his car. Does that not just prove everything I have written above? Who would do that but a Saffa? I bet he was swearing and abusing England the whole time.


  5. Alison
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 14:46:15

    When I was paying for my petrol yesterday, there was a guy standing behind me in shorts and t-shirt. If I had had my phone handy I would have asked him for a photo! It was -5C when I got back in my car. WTF? What was he trying to prove? And he looked normal too, not wild-eyed and Einstein-haired, so who the hell knows? Weird. And I’m so glad you said Durbanites are exempt. I feel a lot better now :-)


  6. Paula
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 19:26:26

    ack! I can’t imagine that cold. The only time I think I feel cold is when its winter but only at night when I pile the blankets on my bed.
    Hectic, the way you’re dressing reminds me kind of cape town winters. LOL South africans are so weird in a way that only a south african can truly appreciate. XD


  7. Po
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 21:36:28

    Alison: you know, Brits are not that much at dressing! The girls go for style over warmth and I do see guys with bare legs around too. Nutters.
    PAula: mwahahahaah Cape Town winters are boiling in comparison to this! No but you have a point, I never wore more than a single knitted jersey in Cape Town and I always froze my ass off. If i move back I am bringing all my warm stuff with me. I shall never complain about the cold there again! Hmmm, at least for a few months maybe.


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