The fire god and the hail man

June 2nd, 2013 by dad

Dorje went on his second Wild Ways adventure this morning, and the theme, appropriately for a wintry day, was fire. They got to build a fire, and practice doing this with sticks for those moments when matches are not available, as well as smoke themselves out of the teepee.

Again, he had lots of fun, and is keen for the next one.

Afterwards, we went to Kirstenbosch where we got to witness an otherworldly experience.

While we were having a meal at the tearoom, it started to rain. And then, not just rain, but pour. Think having a shower at full blast, where hearing each other shriek was out of the question.

Dorje soon realised it was hailing, and recovered the biggest clump of hailstones I’ve ever seen in Cape Town. Before being clobbered on the head by the next batch and running back to shelter.

Hail in hand

Soon the landscape turned into the kind of scene I’d only expected to see on my trip to Finland later this year.

Hail in hand

Hail in hand

Hail in hand

Both of us just wandered around giggling, with me snapping lots of pictures. Dorje soon realised hail is cold, but that didn’t stop him sticking his fingers into ever pile we came across,
Hail in hand

leaving a trail of snow temples behind.
Hail in hand

I began to be worried about frostbite. This was not the Cape Town I grew up in.

The rivers were raging, and wooden paths became treacherously slippery in the mushy ice.
Hail in hand

We came across a duck squawking madly, shaking furiously, every now and then dislodging a piece of hail from its feathers. This was about 20 minutes after the storm.

The hail wasn’t getting any thinner, and finally, near Moyo, we came across the biggest pile yet. Dorje couldn’t resist.

Hail in hand

After this, it began raining heavily again, and we went inside for the second hot chocolate of the afternoon, and some general thawing.

I began to imagine carnage outside. Cape Town can’t drive in the rain, so if the ice hit any of the roads I can only imagine what happened. I was grateful it was only my car outside, and not the loan car I’d been using the past few days.

The hail was still thick about 45 minutes after the hailstorm

We stopped to visit Dorje’s grandfather in hospital. When someone is already bored of the library and the heart museum it’s definitely been too long in hospital. He was sleeping, but on the nurses repeated insistence, we woke him up, but I suspect he may just think it was a dream when he remembers the unexpected change of scene, Dorje in Ice. Dorje agreed with my father though that his fairy looked more like a skeleton.

Hail in hand

After making ice temples and hail men, Dorje’s Wild Ways task was to build a fire with a maximum of two matches, or, as he put it, summon the fire god. He didn’t want to use newspaper either, but the green leaves as kindling weren’t helping, and we went through closer to two boxes before Dorje’s fire was raging, and we could get down to some Tintin and to bed next to the fire.

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