Here is a post I wrote last week when it was 'cold'. It is in fact warm this week..
Now the purpose of my post, in a round about kind of way...was to show that the weather is generally excellent, and that the evidence for that is that there are few oppressively hot days in the hot season (and there are even cool days). The cool season is also pleasant.
So, now let's get onto last week's post (below).
Today and yesterday’s weather has reminded me of a conversation I had with a longtime Blantyre expat. We discussed various things in the past but both being British (he’s Welsh when the rugby’s on), we did once talk about the weather (or, to be precise, the climate in Blantyre).
Anyway, he put to me a suggestion previously mentioned to him by, I think, an expert in the field. The suggestion was that Blantyre has the best climate in the whole world. He was being serious. That is the kind of strong statement that can make someone, especially someone like me, think, ‘now let me consider that – could it really be that that is not wrong?’
I have always been a firm believer in the idea that truth is stranger than fiction. Could it really be true that I am in the city with the best climate in the world? Was my childhood blessed with a climate that was simply the best?
Let’s analyse the climate here in Blantyre. Firstly, being in Africa, it tends to be hot. But as we are at a reasonable altitude it is not too hot – or, I would say, it is very rarely oppressively hot. The weather is not boring, it is not always the same. We have a rainy season which I like for the spectacular downpours, the sound on the roof and the amazing flows of water and spectacular waterfalls. The kind of rainy season there is varies but generally most of the rainy season is sunny with big downpours that feel and look refreshing and that send up a beautiful scent from the ground afterwards.
The ‘winter’ or cool and dry season is not really very cold. Again, some days are sunny and warm and most days are pleasant one way or another. Speaking as someone who has swum off the coast of Scotland and in the Baltic Sea, the idea that the cool season is too cold for swimming at the pool seems mildly amusing / pathetic. I will say that in the cool season I do get into the habit of wearing shoes and socks early in the morning and the evening but I’m rarely away from my sandals for long.
What about season 3 – the hot and dry season? That is where we are now. The weather right now is….cool, overcast and blustery and as I write it has just gone noon. It is not so cold that I need socks or long trousers. For a mad Scotsman, wearing shorts and sandals under these conditions is fine. I am wearing a rugby shirt on top of my light short sleeved shirt and against my early morning expectations, I have no intention of taking this rugby top off now. Going to school this morning my daughter discussed the idea of it being even more cold than this in Scotland... Today’s weather has reminded her of her love for visiting the Fish and Chip shop in Anstruther. Let’s revise the start of this paragraph…we are now at the hottest part of the hot season. It’s cold…, or at least cool. Of course this is unusual but what is also unusual in the hot season are days that are unbearably hot. Yes, it’s usually pretty hot this time of year but compared to the sweltering humidity I have experienced in Washington DC and eastern Turkey, this (season) here...is a breeze.
So maybe the climate here really is the best in the world? It’s normally sunny, warm and pleasant and the days that are not are a pleasant and interesting contrast.
How’s the weather in Auchtermuchty?
(Editor's note: this note is written in the rainy season, which seemed to start ok. We all want the rains for the crops. Unfortunately now in January the rains have seemed to stop. We need them to resume. For that reason it is worth emphasising that this article above is primarily about the weather and climate from the point of view of how pleasant it feels. If we don't get enough rain in the rainy season then it is far from ideal with regard to the more important angle of agriculture...).