Sundays are a bit special, particularly when spent in Kiel, a hangover from when I used to catch the train up from Münster on a Saturday and take the following Monday off work. Hands shoved in pockets, on a quiet Sunday, we’d walk down to the water and I would typically survive about 6 minutes of that biting, Baltic air nipping at my cheeks and ears before demanding we duck into a cafe. That cafe has, for the last couple of years, been the same one, with heaters and blankets outside for those not wanting to miss the thrill of being outdoors in the middle of winter. Those like SG. Wrapping myself in a blanket and falling just short of elastic banding myself around the heater, I tell him, each time, that normal people sit inside when it’s 0 degrees outside. But not the Germans. They take what outside-time they can get, unlike the spoilt rotten Australians who can comfortably be outside 90% of the year.
This Sunday, hands in pockets, we strolled down to the water. Then straight into that cafe, under the blankets and around the heaters. SG had the last of the season’s glühwein and I had a hot chocolate with a generous shot of Baileys. Then neither of us noticed the cold anymore.