The wonderings and wanderings of Dakin and Company

Month: May 2014
[Chapter 1 of my memoir] It is always brown somewhere in South Africa. During the frostbitten winter, it’s the flat Highveld that cracks and curls up in chocolate squares of parched soil. These gold- and diamond- and crop-littered plains get their rain in the summer, sometimes in abundance, sometimes not. In the winter that wetness becomes a forgotten fantasy that is swept away in howling dust storms and hearsay. The June air fills with static, the tall grasses splinter, the sky becomes a lighter blue and sunlight is thinner. Dryness envelops the meadows and fields. The earth below loses all its moisture. The land above cracks and curls and parches. In the Highveld winters, the deepest hardness of Africa is seen and felt in its brittle brown ground. In the searing summer months, it is the fringe of land along the coast—the southern curve of Africa—that tans a deep cocoa...