Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Life in Kiel, Travel + Life Abroad

A Year, Spargel & a Burnt Nose

I write about the weather an awful lot. I know. It’s a condition, one exacerbated by this corner of the world’s sheer changeability. I find it endlessly fascinating and galling, in equal measures, that we can go from 25 degrees and warm, beating sun, to wild winds, pelting rain and 11 degrees, before rubber-banding back to big blue skies and sun. Like we have done over the past 72 hours. My tiny Sydney brain, so spoilt by consistency and mildness, cannot take it. I suppose the one good thing about winters over here is that they are consistent which is precisely what their summers aren’t.


Anyway, enough of idle weather chit chat (for now …). The long weekend just gone – May is full of public holidays over here – was spent travelling a well-known route, that of the one between Münster and Kiel. I used to catch late trains after work up to Kiel to visit SG, back in the early days. I will always remember how damn cold the wind of the Baltic was, when I stepped off the warm, stuffy Deutsche Bahn. I popped down to North Rhine Westphalia to catch up with beloved pals, continue a Eurovision tradition and surprise my German Papa (he who introduced the vital word ‘wehmütig’ to my Wortschatz) at his birthday brunch. Münster put on a real show, indeed produced her annual sunny day which saw us follow the sun from cafe to cafe to lake, sucking up every last ray. I burnt my nose – serves me right – but topped up those Vitamin D reserves. Which was a good thing. Because Kiel has been utter shit since returning at midnight on Sunday.


photo (23)

The last time I was in Münster, almost precisely a year ago, I wrote this. I was living in Weiden, Sydney was on the horizon, Münster only recently left behind as a home. This time, with Sydney behind me, Kiel my present and Weiden waiting around the corner once more, it all felt completely different. Isn’t it funny what a year can do?

Monday delivered us to Oma’s door for our inaugural Spargelessen of the season. I am not German and upon that, I blame the fact I don’t get Spargel, like most people don’t get Vegemite. But I partake, heartily, in the Hollandaise sauce. And I like the idea of seasonal vegetables and the excitement that abounds when Spring ushers in abundant crops. I just prefer, for example, the strawberry fever over the delirious calamity white asparagus encourages.

And then the short week, our third one this month, began again, beneath gun metal skies and beating rain.

Would you look at that. In the time taken to pen this, the clouds have rolled in on a brilliant blue morning-sky and it’s grey, grey, grey again. All is as it should be.


  1. veetamia

    23 May, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Just wanted to comment for once 🙂 I’ve been following your blog for a while and absolutely love your posts! I’m Mexican, married to a German (or “Alemancito’ as I fondly call him and the other German husbands of my Mexican friends) and we are currently living in HH. So true what you say about this damn weather!, my Mexican mind cannot deal with it graciously either 😉

    1. Liv

      24 May, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Love getting comments, thank you! How are you finding the north? A little cooler than your home country, I can imagine. HH is a lovely part of Germany to live in, though, at least you sort of feel a little beachy. That’s what I love about Kiel – it’s chilly and rainy, but it’s coastal!

  2. Diane

    23 May, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    “annual sunny day” hahaha! So funny! I remember being in Munich at this time of year and being very bemused over the delirium felt by Germans towards white asparagus. Even McDonald’s had them! Sydney is pretty wet and cold at the moment but nothing like Northern Europe’s winter.

    1. Liv

      24 May, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      The spargel thing is insane. It is EVERYWHERE and so thoroughly revered. Those crazy Germans. I would rather revere an antipasti platter haha. I heard Sydney is getting a bit of a lashing right now – I hope the rain is going to all the right places!

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