Durban to Boston - Quite the Change

Being in Boston again certainly requires some getting used to. When I left Durban, it was 24ºC (75F) and humid. When I arrived in Boston, it was 1ºC (34F) and spitting snow. It's downright cold … the kind of cold that chills you to the bone and won't let you thaw out. I couldn't get cool enough in Durban on some days. Now, despite wool sweaters, flannel-lined jeans, t-necks and warm socks, I just can't get warm enough. durban south africa to boston usa

I looked out the window this morning and a fine snow was falling. Little, tiny flakes that melted on the road as soon as they landed and only served to make it slick. On the deck, however, it had accumulated enough to be seen … covering up the few errant, brown oak leaves that had been missed by the broom. The cat begged to go out, but as soon as her paws touched the cold, wet snow, she made a beeline back into the warmth of the house. It warmed up to just above freezing and torrential rain replaced the falling snow.

snow on the deck

In Durban, we were concerned about “sou'westerly busters”, severe winds that whip up gigantic waves when the wind is against the strong south-setting Agulhas Current. At the moment, we're experiencing a “nor'easter” here in Boston, a major storm that is causing havoc with high winds, surge along the shore, heavy rains, flooding and, as it gets colder, icy conditions. It's expected to continue for three days. Today, the rain was so heavy at times that just venturing out for a short time, had me soaked and shivering.


Bright red cardinals are out in New England and winter moths congregate around the doors. Below the equator in summery Durban, doves and herons and warm climate insects abound. Not that it ever gets that cold in Durban, mind you. On fair days, the sun rises close to 0800 in Boston at this time of year and sets by 1600. When the weather is foul, it barely gets light at all during the day. In Durban, where the clocks don't change in the summertime, it's been getting light before 0500 and the sun doesn't set till 1900 or later. Their longest day of the year is coming up versus here in Boston where the short days seem to be never-ending at this time of year.

winter moths in boston

Lin has put flannel sheets on my bed and heavy quilts. Tuesday, the cat, has been sleeping with me, snuggling down by my feet. She knows I'm missing Jelly. I'm not sure who keeps who warm, but since David isn't around, kitty will have to do.

tuesday the cat in boston