Indian Summer

I remember hearing the phrase “Indian Summer” for the first time seeing a movie trailer for a film of the same name back in the early nineties. I never saw the film, and I never bothered to find out what the phrase meant. It was obviously something to do with summer, but where did the Indian fit in? It certainly wasn’t a term that was used regularly in South Africa.

Weather comparison for September 27

But finally, I now not only know what it is, but am experiencing one first hand. It’s where you get a bit of nice, warm, weather just after the end of summer, when you’re just thinking that Autumn is starting to slip towards winter. Have a look at the weather forecast on the right. Bearing in mind that we’re just past the midpoint of Autumn, you wouldn’t expect Cape Town’s weather to be worse than Birmingham (that situation is usually limited to about three or four weeks in the middle of summer).

But we have a few days of glorious sunshine, with warm, humid conditions. 26° might not sound like a lot for a South African, but with the high humidity, it feels a lot warmer than that.

It’s as though Jack Frost has just popped out for a smoke break, giving Summer a last little chance to have some fun and throw a bit of love about. No doubt, though, that he’ll be back in early next week with a vengeance, with a cackle and a kick to the butt of Mr Sunshine. By the time daylight savings switches off at the end of October, summer will be well and truly over. A miserable, deep pall of darkness will settle over the land for 5 months.

So I hope you don’t mind if I revel in the last week of warmth that I’m going to get for quite a long while. Pardon me while I go out to pick up a tan…

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