After the gloominess of my last posting, I'm going to show you one of my favourite things about living here....
The UK sky can be beautiful, but has a tendancy to sulk in a grumpy grey way for days on end, and at night is far too often dulled by city lights. The sky in southern Africa is breath-taking in its expanse and blueness and the colour of the sunsets and the brightness of desert stars. But what I love here, that I haven't particularly noticed about the sky anywhere before, is it's dramatic, expressive, manic personality. I think of it like a very passionate opera, with huge reaches of emotion.
Often, it's blue. Blue blue blue, true blue, as far as you can see. A massive sheet of blue. So blue it's hard to believe.
And on clear days, when the suns sets (never much before, or after 6pm) the darkness is deeply dark, and the blanket of stars seems so close and dense that you could reach one of the little sparklers down. I love riding on the back of a motorbike with the air rushing past, my head tipped back to watch the stars overhead.
Other days we'll have clouds. The most beautiful, awesome clouds I've ever seen. So many times I've just stopped on my bike, found a big rock to climb on, and watched them, sometimes for hours. I've gone over into ditches because I'm so distracted. There'll often be all types of clouds, layered up and through each other. Sometimes they seem so solid that I want to climb up there in them and jump around a bit.
One of my favourite time for the clouds is as the sun goes down. The clouds light up with red, purple, pink, yellow. It's even more dramatic on the days when it's overcast, when the light bursts through little gaps to make streaks across the colours between the sky and the earth.
This sky doesn't play games. It doesn't sulk, or hide it's feelings or avoid things. If it's happy - it's bright happy blue. If it's tense, or angry, or has something it wants to say, it makes it very clear, very quickly. It'll turn very dark, brooding, like night has come early.... before unleashing furious rain and house-rumbling thunder. It's fabulously dramatic.
Maybe I love the sky so much here because I have time to study it. Maybe because its a distraction from the dust and the dirt and the mangy dogs and the rubbish. Maybe it's because I'm spending so much time thinking and evaluating my place in the world. Whatever the reason, it's incredibly beautiful and I'm very grateful for it.....