Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Life in Kiel, Travel + Life Abroad

The Novelty of Spring

The novelty of Spring refuses to wear off. The handful of truly glorious days we have had since Spring announced her arrival, have been enough to replenish stocks of good cheer and tide us through the inevitable cloudier, rainier days. A boot has not graced my foot in a fortnight. The Germans are slowly stopping staring at my ballet flats (and thus half-naked feet) but I won’t be cracking out the sparkly gold ones for a while, that was almost too much. Never have my feet been such a point of public interest. I asked SG the other day, why Germans stare so. And he said, ‘Us Germs have a set of norms that we like. And step out of that norm even a little bit and we stare.’ Das stimmt.

The big, beautiful street off which we reside, has burst into song, all the trees heavy with green. People sitting beneath them with their coffees and beers are no longer shivering beneath felt blankets, instead they are sitting jacket-less with their faces following the sun. Naked trees are a part of winter I have never liked. Glühwein I can do. Snow for a week or two, sure. But those black, bare sticks reaching toward a white sky, I have never been able to fall for. Most available patches of green in parks are dotted with chairs, blankets and grills. The national past time of raiding Edeka for all available types of meat and throwing them on a mini grill, is in full swing. And ice-cream. Ice-cream is back on the streets, clutched by every second Kieler.

But, perhaps most significantly, people are happy. They’re smiling at each other, there’s a sense of renewed energy in all public spaces. There are no hunched shoulders, no chins dipped into scarves, no hurrying down the street to get out of the cold. People stroll, shoulders open, faces open. There is no rush, no being driven into warmer spaces because the warmer spaces are all outside and every available moment is to be spent there. No one celebrates the sun more than those who don’t see it enough.

We went to Laboe last weekend. Last time I was there, in April last year, it looked like this. This time, it was blue and sunny and the Strandkörbe were full of people. The queue to the ice cream shop snaked out the door. We waited patiently for our two scoops and then took them to the pier.

No, the novelty of Spring will never wear off.







  1. Bonnie Rose (@the_bonnierose)

    10 May, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Beautiful the way you write Liv. I agree the contrast between a monochromatic scenes of black stark trees and white sky with the colourful days of Spring into Summer, I lean towards the later. Or at least this last week I have realized that is what I do here in England. I almost have felt so spoiled by the warm sun this last week that yesterday when it was gloomy and rained all day I didnt know what to do. To be fair I think we have had better weather so far this year than we did by this time last year.

    You remind of the aspects of Germany that I miss, like the fun of snow (when you get to play or snowboard in it, compared to having to drive through it) the Glühwein …oh and Christmas to me has never ‘really’ been Christmas when I have not ben in Germany. I believe the Germans do Christmas best.

    But oh Springs and Summer in Germany with the Green of the hills and mountains and colourful flowers and details. We would vacation up in Germany while we lived in Italy because of this. The novelty of spring can never wear off…just makes me miss it when it rains and is cold as we approach Summer.

    Great Post!
    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose

    1. Liv

      13 May, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Thank you Bonnie Rose. I am learning to love, very much, the stark differences between the seasons and appreciate my least favourite season, winter, for what it has. Eg: Glühwein. Oh and boots! And rainy days doesn’t hurt me as much as it used to. But nothing compares to that feeling of seeing the trees burst into bloom and to enjoy the breeze as opposed to being chased inside by it. You know what? If Summer was 6 months, Spring 3, Autumn 2 and Winter 1, life here would be perfect!

  2. gmtnunez

    11 May, 2013 at 7:52 am

    It’s true- it never will! Temps were well into the 70’s and everything was in bloom when I left campus this week…and to think I’m headed back to the Southern Hemisphere and winter oh so soon…

    1. Liv

      13 May, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Ah but the Southern Hemisphere winter lacks the bite of the Northern Hemisphere winter. It’s a doddle down south compared to what happens up here!

      1. gmtnunez

        13 May, 2013 at 5:54 pm

        This is true. I can’t really complain about highs in the 60’s being called “winter…” but that all changes when it’s 40 in the morning and there’s no central heating! Good thing I like sweaters.

  3. Isa

    21 May, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Slightly off-topic, although summer’s round the corner and all along the Baltic coast, the not so novel:

What do you think?