Summer briefly went elsewhere last week (she has been vague and flighty this year, prone to coming and going as she pleases) and we all reached for the Übergangsjacke which theoretically shouldn’t be seen until September. It rained all week and temperatures barely cracked 16. In late July. Prior to this, I had been feeling a little, I don’t know, vorfreude at the idea of Autumn. Cosy knits, red leaves, hot drinks. ‘That actually sounds quite lovely,’ I had said to myself, before gaily, in my mind, skipping ahead to Christmas and glühwein. ‘I can do this!’ I thought, ‘I can glide seamlessly from season to season and enjoy them all!’
One full day of grey skies, and cold needle rain, was enough to realise a) I am not at all, in any way, remotely ready for Autumn and b) I am not as well adapted to the notion of cooler seasons as I thought. And c) I get really, really ratty if summer gets skimped on. Really ratty.
‘July can be mixed,’ SG said placatingly the other day, as we popped out for a brisk walk between showers.
‘You guys always say that. March is still winter, April does what he wants, anything can happen in May, it can still snow in June, and now July is mixed?’
‘August is more consistent,’ he assured me, and we pressed on, determined to make it to the supermarket before having to wrestle die Lüdde’s poncho on, and seek cover under an awning somewhere.
It rained before we made it to the supermarket, and once there, the cashier (who consistently breaks from stereotype and engages all and sundry in conversation while swiping the groceries. I have never forgotten her saying ‘are you sure?’ when she asked me when the baby was due and I said ‘not for another 2 months.’) nodded at our bedraggled, damp appearance. One could see her waiting for one of us to mention the rain pissing down outside. Inevitably, one of us did, possibly in response to her dangling some sort of conversational bait, and then she was off.
‘It isn’t that bad, is it? A bit of nice rain, it could be worse.’ Pause to allow for disagreement on our end. Which she got. ‘Okay, it is pretty bad, days and days of rain in July! But just a few weeks ago, we had that heatwave and what were all the people saying then? It’s too hot and now they are saying ‘it’s too cold’ and …’ Her routine was forced to conclude at that point, because we had bagged all of our groceries and paid, and even the chattiest supermarket cashier daren’t hold up the line.
She is right, of course. I think I was the only person in Kiel celebrating the heatwave given to us by the Sahara. For the most part, there is a particular temperature – 25, give or take 1 degree – at which all Kielers are happy, and anything over that, their circulation stops (or something).
August 1st dawned bright and sunny. The rain departed, bound for some other god forsaken corner of the world (go to California, they need it!) and the sun showed up for work.
August 2nd was warm and dry, and beaches filled back up and the ice cream queues lengthened. We chased die Lüdde around the shore, pulling her up every time she crawled face first into the deeper water. We got double scoops at Eis Paradies and ended up having to buy a distraction brötchen when die Lüdde’s ice cream intake was deemed adequate. We said, every ten minutes, as the sun warmed our shoulders, ‘isn’t this great?’
We are three days into August and so far, SG has been proven right. The three days have been warm and sunny and consistent. The only whining around these parts is from a very small fish, who dislikes it when I remove her nude form from the water pump at the Spielplatz.