It has been a quiet, mild slide into the new year. In fact, it has been a very mild winter. 2014 has opened with 5 degree days, nights only falling to 0. There isn’t a snowflake in sight, hasn’t been since those few days in early December that were entirely white. Some days, there’s even a little sunshine. And it isn’t dark at 4.30pm anymore, nope, we’ve turned that corner. Now we have light until at least ten to five. Those twenty minutes make a big difference, you know, when you’re a hater of all things winter, like I am. And I have tried hard with this winter. I thought we could, perhaps, change our relationship, come to a better agreement. But it’s still very bad, I am sorry to report, horribly strained and cold. We deliberately misunderstand each other, and ascribe terrible characteristics to one another, that other people can’t even see. I don’t think we’ll ever get on, really. But that’s okay. You cannot love everything, nor be loved by all.
This time last year, I was in Australia. And on that side of the globe, I love this time of year. It isn’t persistently grey and cold and dark, the people curmudgeonly because the weather is wearing thin and the bubble of Christmas popped. It’s warm and light and relaxed. People are satiated by the overlapping celebrations of Christmas and Boxing Day and NYE. Half of Sydney has scampered off on a quick beach holiday. We’re still eating leftover Christmas ham and cheese toasties for lunch. The cricket’s on, so’s the tennis, constantly, even when nobody’s in the room. Our feet have forgotten what real shoes actually feel like.
The first few days of the new year, indeed the first month of the new year at home, has a completely different feel. And it is, to be honest, usually the month where I miss Australia the most. Any other time of year, I am quite content with life in Germany. Spring here is truly something. Summers up north are beachy and chilled. Autumn is remarkably pleasant. But in January, there is nowhere else in the world I would rather be, than down under.
We have been holing up down here in Bavaria, bracing for 2014. Something tells me it is going to be a big one, bigger than usual anyway, so I don’t mind having a quiet slide into this year as we count down to jetting out of Frankfurt and into Melbourne. Count down to six weeks in New Zealand and Australia, to weddings, the Australian Open, an NZ road trip, BBQs with friends and family, my birthday. We’re catching up on movies we missed in 2013 and TV series, eating as many vegetables as we can, because few pass one’s lips during the German festive season, and going for walks like an old couple (only without matching Jack Wolfskin jackets).
Things won’t stay quiet for long, so we may as well enjoy it while we can.