This story I dedicate to all the Saffas still coming to the U.K.

Die Weer in die plek will be your no 1 topic of discussion, ok, listen nou ne!! julle moet sommer nou al verstaan voor jy op daai plane klim, die weer hier is nie soos in SA nie, this place can freeze in the winter and burn in the summer. Ok, now that you got that – kom ek vertel julle nou hoe dit werk hier.

Winter – We shall start with this season, want dit kan koud word in die plek.
The shops, restaurants, pubs, etc are all geared for the cold ne!! so, you will dress up looking like an Eskimo to go from your house, to the car, from the car to the restaurant, shop etc – once inside you will take it all off (it is ‘n pyn in die gat om die hele tyd in die winkels rond te loop met all daai goed in jou hande). In time, you will figure out what works for you.
Me, coz I am ‘n vettie, I only wear one top, jacket/thick warm poncho, boots, rarely wear gloves, maybe scarf, thick socks and good boots.

Rain: ja – dit reen baie hier – the sooner you except that fact the better for you, you will use a brollie, not all the time, you will probably stop using your umbrellas when you realise he drizzle is ok, and most of the time you will just run through it, most people just sommer run from one spot to another, or wear a waterproof jacket. When it pours it down, you will use your brollie, want dit kan sous hier. Most people keep a small fold up brollie in their bags or in the car.

Snow – ok, it is not like in Canada or Iceland ok – we do not get snow that often… so do not expect any or a lot. dan sal jy nie disappointed wees as dit nie sneeu nie – when it does snow, in some places it can be a lot – like up north, down south kry ons nie so baie snow nie, maybe a sprinkle in 2010 was the last time we had a lot of snow. ok, listen nou ne!! in die winter gat jy moet layer, no doubt about it.

Klere/clothes: to give you an idea of how cold it is, I have made a list of the clothes and accessories you WILL wear, en moenie dink jy gat dit nie drae nie ok… coz let me tell you, your first winter here, you will go out and get this stuff. And forget about buying it all in S.A. not thick enough and before long you will replace it all. You will start looking at jackets made in Scandinavia, or Iceland – want jy weet as hulle die goed maak sal dit jou warm hou.. hulle ken van koud kry…..

• Thermals (long Johns for men)
• Thick T-shirts
• Fleece jacket
• Jas (Jacket) (waterproof)
• Willie warmer (coz it gets that cold)
• Thermal Socks or Wool Socks
• Boots with thick soles with antislip. You need this anners sal jy jou gat sien.
• Gloves – double layer nogal
• Beanie/woolie hat
• Scarf (big and thick and woolie)
• Glove and sock warmers – put inside our socks or gloves and it heats up and keeps you warm. Is lekker!!
• Ear Muffs.
• Denier 100 stockings (sykouse)
• Thick tights – they lekker to wear around the house, Sainsbury’s sell thick ones.
• Umbrella – in case you did not know this, dit reen baie hier.
Looking at this list you can now understand why most people sommer just stay at home and hibernate, so much hassle to get dressed.
In the house in winter
• Thick pair of trackies (tracksuit bottoms)
• Thick top, woolie or something with long sleeves and warm
• T-shirt
• Thickest pair of socks you can find
• Slippers

Your car:
Yes, you will have problems with your car in the cold, veral as die ys en sneeu kom… oe e e!! you will struggle if you do not have this stuff:
De-icer – sommer baie hoor!!
Ice Scraper – the windows will ice up.
Screen Blanket – this is better to have than a scraper, you just pull it off and go…. The problem is where do you put it when it is full of ice. Mar dit kan julle mar self uit figure.
You might want to invest in a steering wheel cover, it is cold…. Sommer get a lekker big fluffy one ok!!! It is it is pink one, I did not give you that advice ok!!!

General Advice:
Salt – Keep some salt (buy bags of it mixed with grit at shops) to put on sidewalks, driveways, front of the house, back patio etc – you will slip and fall here, Black ice you cannot see – I fell on black ice once, it was eina… it looks just like it is just a wet bit on the pavement, it does not look anything like ice at all. You can be excused for thinking it is just a puddle, step on it and boom!!! Op jou allie.
S.A.D Lamp – the winters here are looooooooong – hier so by Februarie sal jy sooooo gatvol wees vir in die huis sit, die koue en die reen dat jy ‘n depro sal slaan. S.A.D Lamp will help.
March you will start wearing summer clothes every time you see the sun is out…. Even if it is just for an hour… en glo my!! Daai klein dingetjie will make you so happy – just to be able to wear something summery, just to look outside and see life is happening, it gives you hope, you know what is coming very soon – SUMMER TIME!!!!!! Jumping around the house, singing and wondering if it will be ok to have a braai….. mar gly my – as soon as the afternoon starts, you will put the warm clothes back on and sit under the blankie on the couch quickly – it can be very frustrating.

Spring and Summer time!!
Ok, listen – do not let anybody tell you that the U.K. is all about rain, cold en sneeu ok – it is not, well not all the time anyway – spring time is sooo pretty here, when you driving around you will see the little flower buds appearing on the trees, green leaves coming out, grass getting greener and growing, birds singing, you will see a big difference to what winter is like. You seriously start to think about having a lekker big braai, met Sekelbos of Mopani hout (yebo, we get that here thanks to Simon Gregory).
Summer is is hot – the heat here is different – die son brand erg hier – I am sure the sun is stronger here, as soon as you step into the sunlight here, you can feel it stinging your skin – it is hot and humid, dit voel asof ‘n kooi jou heeldag lek, permenantly wet!! Yuck!!! You cannot function in the heat – you will go to the shops and buy a blow-up pool – trust me on that!! I buy one every single year, this year I bought a small little paddle pool for the dogs but I have been sitting in it more than the dogs… lol – some people can handle the heat, some, like me – nee wat!! Is te warm.

Some people will say to you summer is only 3 days long here, ok, granted we do not have 30 degrees heat for 6 months constantly, but it is not that cold that you will walk around in boots and jacket all through spring and summer, I enjoy it when it rains in the summer here, is cool, you can still wear nice summer outfits and open shoes. It is all what you make of it in the end.

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