That’s life Darrel Bristow-Bovey shivers deep in the Karoo
It’s a singular feeling, to be admired by children who are dear to you. And then they grow up… On an unusual trip to Sutherland in the high Karoo, Darrel Bristow-Bovey was forced to face a few cold facts.
“A re you sure you’re not cold?” said the little girl, looking at me with worried eyes. “You look like a Smurf.”
I looked down at my arms. She was right. She was only 10 but that is old enough to know the difference between a man and a Smurf. Smurfs are meant to be blue; grown men are not.
“No, no,” I said. I pretended to wave at the bright stars in the inky winter sky, although secretly I was actually checking that my frozen body still obeyed my mind’s commands. “Don’t worry about me. I told you – I never get cold.”
She nodded thoughtfully. She’s too polite and openhearted to suspect I might be lying, but I think she was beginning to have her first inkling that grown-ups can be very, very stupid.
We were in Sutherland. People had warned me about the cold in the high Karoo. It’s not city cold, they said. When you’re out there on the high plains, with nothing between you and the cold wind but miles and miles of emptiness, you’ll wish you could fill up a bathtub with