Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Life in Münster

Losing it.

I am beginning to go quite mad. It happened around this time last year, as well. I remember looking out my hotel window in Hamburg and realising it had snowed over night – albeit sparsely and for about five minutes – and feeling a wave of utter, crashing disappointment. The disappointment was followed by a flash of something like lunacy, which, as it happens, is one step up from pure, unbridled disappointment. I didn’t want to see snow anymore. I didn’t want to be cold anymore. I had been cold, at that point, for 5 months. My skin had not known sunlight for five months*. One can get rickets from not seeing sunlight for 5 months. I was sick of wearing a jacket, I was sick of wearing boots, I was sick of wearing a fucking scarf and I thought, surely, surely, it is coming to an end. Surely this is the point the sun comes out and everything warms up and people start smiling again and living outdoors, once more, becomes a possibility. And as I was thinking of this, as I was assuming this, I looked out the window and saw this. And started a low, grief stricken wail.

And so it has come to pass, that twelve months later, a similar level of madness is being approached. My flat mate arrived home at 7.30 tonight, to find me tucked up in bed, wearing my pyjamas, applying eye cream, for all the world as if I was about to bed down for the night. She gently mentioned my attire and indeed my locale and I said, ‘quite honestly, I have been in my pyjamas since 6pm.’ Why? Because it feels natural to shower and put on pyjamas when it is dark, or as good as, outside. Just like it feels natural to be in bed when it is chilly and pitch black outside one’s bedroom window. And in pyjamas (or variants of) and in bed embarrassingly early have I been, for months now. Because I don’t want to be anywhere else. Because there is no reason to want to be outside. There is no reason to be outside, unless one’s idea of a good time is to get rained on, be uncomfortably damp, shivery, red faced, sweaty beneath layers of thick, unbecoming garments and icy of extremities.

Listen to you, you may say, you sound like such a Negative Nelly.

This is what hours and hours of fucking darkness does to people. Pillages them of motivation, of energy, of desire, of, as the Germans say, lust, to do anything. Sucks them dry of their vitamin stores. Ravages their stashes of positivity. Depletes their stocks of dopamine. This is what day after day of low, grey skies, malevolently plump with the ever-present threat of rain, does to people. Drives them around the bend. Makes them go completely and utterly mad. Turns them into snarling, complaining, vile, stroppy beasts who see no light in the world, no fun.

I want to have bare feet and legs. I want to wear a dress. I want to not be cold when I get out of bed. 

I just want to feel warm again.

* This is a long time when you come from a country that really only has a winter that lasts 2 months. And it isn’t even that cold.



    17 February, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I grew up close to a snow belt so I’m used to four distinct seasons and winter being, well, winter. But I’m with you on the cold, grey, raw, rainy, frigid season that seems to last a good 5 months. And that photo is to die for! I’d settle for not cold and then work my way through spring into summer 😉

  2. admin

    17 February, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I have to say, the four distinct seasons are lovely. And by that I mean the sheer relief, the sheer happiness that courses through my frozen veins, when the daffodils come out, is a glorious feeling. But oh my GOD, Linda, this greyness for so LONG. It would be fine if it was grey for 3 months, then Spring came. But it is grey for like FIVE OR SIX. I think, as well, I may be a little restless, waiting for the move, so everything just seems stagnant and GREY right now hahaha. As for snow … you know my feelings about snow.

  3. Therese Writes

    17 February, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    I lasted two weeks in a London winter. I was meant to be there a month and ate chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner to try and cheer myself up. If that was after only two weeks, I assume you must be feeling 10 times worse. This could all be resolved by coming home and having a vino with me. 🙂

  4. admin

    18 February, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Hahahaha I am not going to lie … I eat my way through these winters as well. Berliners, cakes, pastries, chocolate … the result has been a lovely weight gain and the complete inability to wear clothes from home. BUT … the cakes are delicious!

    A vino at home … oh don’t. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. Would that be a crisp NZ white, somewhere in the sunshine? BECAUSE I WOULD GIVE MY LEFT ARM FOR THIS

  5. Joy

    18 February, 2012 at 10:23 am

    You may not believe it now, but should you stay a few more years you will actually get used to it. I thought I never would, also being from a much warmer place, but somehow, this year at the beginning of winter, I realised I wasn’t dreading it as much as usual. In fact, I felt awesomely prepared to take on the cold.

    Although I still don’t consider Germany to have four distinct seasons. There’s only winter and then a vaguely warm period mid-year. What they call fall and spring weather here, I grew up calling winter. 🙂

  6. admin

    18 February, 2012 at 10:32 am

    And, I suppose, a few more years of Bavarian winters will sort me out quick smart. I love your awesome preparedness and aim to reach that. And I SHALL. Although, to be honest, I also felt more prepared this year, the thing that gets ME, is the sheer length of shitness. 3 months, sure, go for it, be shit. But 5, sometimes 6? And then, you are totally right, the vaguely warm period – that is no compensation for half a year of vileness.

  7. Lyndall

    19 February, 2012 at 9:15 am

    If it’s any consolation, Australia is currently enjoying the rainiest, coldest, most miserable summer in something like 50 years.

    Whilst I don’t think i’ll get rickets, I’m also losing it.

  8. Spencer Samaroo

    26 February, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Be careful what you wish for, we have had really hot weather in QLD and it has been unbearable.

  9. Karen@Treechanged

    26 February, 2012 at 4:15 am

    Just found your blog and I was so glad to read someone else feels so miserable about winter. Screw the four seasons. Give me summer year-round! Happily, we have some sunshine here (northern Canada), but it is paid for with 8 months (yep!) of snow and -20C temps. I’ve been trying the Danish remedy of “hygge” which means makin’ it cozy with candles, or something. It does seem to help.

What do you think?