Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Amongst idlers and dawdlers, like myself

When the city bowl gets this unbearably hot at summer's height, there is nowhere better to cool off in, and relax, than in the Company Gardens, next to Parliament and just off the city centre.

I love days like today: when I thoroughly regret not having a pair of shorts with me; when I have not a single doubt as to the African essence, through the intense and heavy heat, of this most southern of the continent's cities.

There's not much to surpass the pleasure of people watching on a wooden bench beneath an ancient and verdant canopy.

Slipping into the gardens via a semi-secret and scorched lane - not surprisingly named Gallery Lane - and along an unpopular, less public side of the national art gallery, the most glaring and heat-ridden piece of my brisk stroll is the hurried dash across the gallery's lawn.

Then past all the garden crockery, statues from other ages cast in stone, and a 'sho't and rapid right' into one of the garden's top entrances.

Only then, in shade and surprising scents of the garden may I relax; it's the abrupt cool and instant hand-braking of my afternoon: I'm amongst my own now, idlers, dawdlers, people happy to pass their time 'unproductively' watching the world go by, also the seasons wonderfully-grindingly-slowl on their axis', reading barefoot in the shade, listening to squirrels' secret and acornic conversations.

But beware the endless stream of chancers and hustlers, the master dawdlers.

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