Jo’burg is located up on a plateau, known as the Highveld, which is some 1753 metres or almost 6000 ft above sea level. Yes, we live about a mile high. One of the things you quickly notice is that the air up here is crackling and dry, particularly in the winter months when rain is scarce.
Hazards of High Altitude Living
This results in dry-wizened-zombie-hag skin which feels like it’s going to crack and fall off at any given moment.
Other problems include wooden furniture drying out and cracking, static hair and electric shocks, but the Zombie skin is probably the most annoying one.
Combating Zombie Skin
Most people have hand creams, moisturiser and lip balm in good supply dotted about the house and car. Many children get a dreadful ring of dry skin around their mouths caused by ‘lip lickers syndrome’ – basically they can’t stop licking their dry lips. Our doctor recommended SBR repair for dealing with lip lickers, it works wonders overnight, but by bedtime the following day the ring is back and the cream needs reapplying.
When I was back in the UK this summer I spent the first three days of the holiday stroking my own cheek, marvelling at its soft youthful dewiness. Of course it didn’t last, returning to Jo’burg we’d already spent almost 11 hours on a moisture sucking plane, then we stepped out onto the Highveld and I could feel my face tightening further. Return of the Zombie skin.
Kids are Charmingly (Brutally) Honest
This morning (like just about every morning) I couldn’t find my moisturiser.
Me: Kids, have you seen my moisturiser?
Pickle: What’s moisturiser?
Sweetpea: It’s what old people use to make their skin look young.
Me: Yes, that’s right. Old people…….and Zombies (affects dead eyed stare, raises arms and marches towards them).
Read about other quirks of Mile High Living here.