The view from my desk.
Bullets on Tin
Rain for three weeks now. I’m sitting in a corrugated iron roofed house in Africa with the rain smashing down on the roof like clattering handfuls of nails. These rainstorms are not the “pardon me” ones you get in England. Here the big drops plough the soil, the thunder makes your heart jump, and the blinding lightning bursts tall thick trees easy as a child snapping a toothpick.
The street gutters are rushing and roiling like a miniature Zambezi in flood. Mad with cabin fever, I folded some paper boats to race down my street, but the downpour scuppered all three. One did make it almost 20 yards, before being side-washed into the maw of a greedy storm drain.
At five or six years old, I was very self-conscious about the smattering of freckles across my nose and cheeks. During a particularly nasty Transkei storm, my older sister took me aside and confided that if I went to the top of the hill behind the farm house, and held my face up to the rain long enough, my freckles would wash off. Mom found me on the hill hours later, soaked as a wet cur, face still scrunched up to the rain. The freckles didn’t budge, I got a cold, and my sister was grounded for a month of Sundays.