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The weekend before…

It’s the 24th of Feb., and the weather forecast to the end of the month looks relatively mild. Mild of course means in the high minuses (or low minuses? I’m not sure how counting negatives really works)… and seems at this time of year to come with the disgustingness of Sleet- the worst infliction of the heavens’ upon the people.

Snow is cold, sure, but most of the stuff this winter has been fluffy and delicate, and dancey (I think I’ve already abused Tchaikovsky enough previously in creating this image.. so if you’re not getting the image you must go and scold your parents for raising you in a deprived environment featuring an absence of ‘Fantasia’.. and then go and watch Fantasia… obviously).

Sleet is more of a ‘going straight for the eyes with tiny pinpricks of frozen pain’ type of monster.

Nonetheless, what with Nature’s current plan of things, I don’t think I’m being overly foolish or chicken-counting in asserting that:
                                   Andy and Tegan have Survived the German Winter!

Which of course has only been possible through the Learning of Many (small and large) Lessons, including:

1) Don’t wear earrings when it’s minus 10, the metal conducts all the heat from delicate earlobes
2) Australian shoes are made for gripping sand and dust, but are not match for ice, salt and cobblestones.
3) Ich bin Heiss actually translates as ‘I am horny’. It’s probably more appropriate to tell the old women on the overheated bus that you’re slightly warm (I think- Mir ist heiss: which is more ‘it feels warm to me‘.. I guess that makes sense).

and so on.

I will also comment that the cold weather has made it possible to appreciate the German diet- Andy is incapable of exiting the apartment on any day without at least one sausage under his belt, or, alternatively, the promise of Ditsch (super-oily german pizza fast-food chain) in the very near future.

Nothing like a tummy filled with fat and carbs for braving a -11 day!

On that -11 day, when we were back in Golm- Tegan came upon a frozen puddle, and got very excited by it. Andy stood back while she spent several minutes trying to crack the ice by the very-safe ‘jumping method’.

If only I’d know what was just around the corner:

Frozen lake!!!!

Andy would not let me jump on this one. I did do a heel strike, but it made an ominous cracking sound, and although I think it was too far frozen to give at all, I quickly stopped trying to test it…really very unscientific of me.

You can see the frozen plants under the water… poor plants!, and this tree was actually half frozen into the lake

Winter is somewhat sepia-toned…

We had a bit of a walk into Golm village, the duration of which seemed infinitely longer than the time taken for -11 cold to conduct through the Aussie-winter soles of my boots and turn all my toes to ice.

But it was very picturesque.

I’m not sure if you can see easily from this picture, but the bush to the left is absolutely FILLED with hundreds of tiny birds that seem to be omnipresent here. You can see at least 10 of them sitting on the top, but the hedge is somewhat hollow, and there must have been at least 40 or 50 constantly flitting and chirping.. very sweet.

Lichen wins at winter:

How the birds keep warm:

I’m actually not super sure what’s going on here, maybe it’s man-made to block the cold coming in from the chimney because they now have Centralheating?

And a church.

I will admit now, that -11 was the coldest we got this year, and I think it’s actually been a pretty mild winter- with all the colder stretches punctuated with warmer, snow-melting days.

It’s really amazing how quickly the days are lengthening (from sunset before 4pm a couple of months ago, we’ve already progressed to sunset just before 6pm: bring on the creepy super-long northern hemisphere days) and it feels now that if we just wait out the sleet, that The Time Will Soon Come when the daffodils and tulips and cherry blossoms can bloom not only in the heated protection of our apartment, but actually in the Outside World!

If we were Real Men, next winter we’d take on Russia.
Probably feeling pretty ok with current level of manliness though…

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