Weather or not

No, don’t be a grammar nazi now. The above title is correctly done as a play on words as my blog post today is all about the weather.
I kind of feel like a British person lately, as the weather has been such a hot topic.

 

But here’s the thing, in South Africa we used to be able to set our calendars by the weather.
December through February was always insanely hot, but almost never wet. April was somewhat damp. May through July was the South African version of winter, if you can call it winter, but was generally mild and pleasant. On the east coast winter would be sunny, and t-shirt and jeans kind of weather all winter long. August was the “gusty” month (see what I did there?), and September was the wet month as October and November would be warming us up for summertime again.
But not anymore!

Call it elnina or alnino, global warming, or whatever else you want to call it, but the weather is totally different nowadays!
Take today for example, mid-February should be blinking hot, with not a cloud in the sky, slightly humid, but just, predictable. Noooo, not today. For the last week the weather forecast for today changed about 5 times. By Sunday, it was saying a clear morning and 100% chance of heavy rain and thunderstorms this afternoon. By yesterday it was predicting a mild and pleasant, even slightly cool, entire day. This morning we woke up to grey skies and a drizzle with one weather office predicting heavy rains in the afternoon, another saying overcast, and yet another saying clear.
I bet you are asking yourself why the weather matters so much to me? I’ll tell you why, its all very well if you work in an office and the only time you are “in the weather” is while you are between your building and your car, or on your commute. But its quite another thing when you work in adventure tourism and recreation. Where for example, your clients have a particular day that is extremely important to them (even if you disagree with the level of importance, it still matters to them) and the activities planned are all outdoors exposed to the weather. Now if it was just hot and sunny, you can wear sunscreen, and adjust it to later in the day when things cool down. But when its wet or windy, well everyone involved gets uncomfortable and cranky, and it can be somewhat dangerous even.

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So how did today end up? Turns out all three weather reports were right!

As I am sure you know, if not you’re about to, one of my forms of income is working with horse riding on the beach Today being a day many couple’s wanted to ride was interesting to say the least. Contacting gents who had planned surprises for their ladies and telling them I’m very sorry, but I have no power over the weather, this is what all the information I currently have is, what do they want to do? And leaving it till the very last possible moment for the final decisions to be made was heart stopping for me as the person who had to be ready to get 6 horses, or 2 horses or no horses ready and ride out in whatever the skies above decided to throw at us.

Eventually all but one couple decided to postpone. But that left one couple who were determined to go ahead with it. So we got ready to go, as the sky blackened, the horses stood ready as the wind rustled through the trees around them. The clients arrived and as they climbed on it started to drizzle, but still they wished to go ahead. The trail being a 4 hour trail, I gave them one condition, if it was still raining in 30 minutes, or any heavier than it currently was, we would turn around. As we approached the gate to start the trail, it started coming down heavier, but I took pity on this couple and decided to give it a few more minutes. Within a few minutes it had mellowed to a light drizzle, almost more of a mist than anything else. I was not too pleased though, as the trail went through the bush, and every time you go under a wet tree and slightly bump a branch, the water all falls on you, and then it goes down your back and into your pants, and you’re sitting astride a saddle, eventually with wet, soggy underwear. UGH.
But after about another 20 minutes there was no more drizzle, just suffocating humidity. By the time it got to an hour, we could see patches of blue skies. And then, by the time we got to the beach, it had totally cleared up, almost no clouds and just humid. So after all that, we had a lovely ride.

Who would of thought?

 

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