A fortnight ago I arrived at my parents-in-laws' humble home on the plateau to almost freezing temperatures -- bearing in mind that the house is permeated by the cold, and the bathroom is the veld. I said to myself that it couldn't get worse. Then a wind came up, which sent the chill through one's clothes. I said to myself that it couldn't get worse. Then it rained -- rain and hail onto the small asbestos roof. Then the water supply -- some distance from the house -- froze solid. Looking on the bright side, though, the washing on the line was all twinkly with frost. It was quite beautiful. On day 11 I took ill -- my final day, and the longest I survived yet before taking a turn. OBSERVATION: However I am always uplifted by these visits.