Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Life in Kiel

Plump with Possibility

Despite the fact I drank the Argentinian wine stand dry on Friday night, and despite the fact die Lüdde decided, for the first time maybe ever, that 5am was an appropriate time to hop up on Sunday morning (she likes her sleep, that one), I am feeling fresh. Because, my friends, it appeared my whingeing was heard. Heard and heeded.


The last day of Kieler Woche was draped in a blue sky and dappled in sunlight. The functional jackets stayed at home. SG even cracked out his thongs/flip flops. We lolled about, suitably proximal to the empanadas, like bumblebees, punch drunk on vitamin D. (And waffles, Erdbeerbowle, Portuguese chorizo, and cherry beer.)





Yesterday, up here in north Germany, we finally got out of the teens and into the twenties. Die Lüdde wore no socks and no hat. Hear that? NO SOCKS AND NO HAT. And she lived to tell the tale. At one point, we even slipped her cardigan off and bared her tiny shoulders to the world. She was thrilled. I often think there are few people more appreciative of the warmth than German/north European babies. For months, the only bit of skin exposed to the world is their face (and even that you can cover with a baby balaclava). In winter, stuffed into a snow suit, they get wheeled around in actual beds, wrapped up in a fleecy sleeping bag, tucked in under a blanket, covered by a doona. They wear socks from dusk to dawn. The pleasure of barefeet is one they may well go years before experiencing. They wear a hat from the moment they are birthed, until the moment it hits 21 degrees … no, wait, then the sun hats and sunscreen come out. Okay, so they just wear a hat. At all times.

The relief, consequently, of removing four layers of clothing, and kicking their legs free from the Fußsack, of being able to move and feeling the fresh air and sun touch bare skin, must be immensely pleasurable. I used to think die Lüdde despised her pram, because she spent the first four months of her life screaming in it. Then we took her to Australia and Singapore, and she lay there like a lamb, kicking and laughing, with bare feet and a bare head, basking in pram love. She didn’t hate the pram. She hated the snow suit anf sleeping bag and hat and mittens and lying there, trapped within a mountain of fabric.

Naja. So summer is here, the Fußsack is about to be removed from the pram for the season, Kieler Woche has wrapped, and the weather forecast is promising days in the twenties with plenty of sun. My well of weather complaints has temporarily dried up, and I am ready for the beach, for ice cream, for bare, sandy feet. For a full, fat, warm summer.





Of all the seasons, summer feels the most plump with possibility. Last year, it brought a baby. Let’s see what it brings this year.


  1. Cindy

    29 June, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Love this! I can literally feel your joy in your words, warm sunny breeze blowing across my skin. 🙂

  2. Brigitte

    29 June, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    I was born in Oldenburg and my mother believed in the value of the Luftbad for the child. Let the skin breather, without clothing for at least a little bit most days. Sounds like you need the concept of the Luftbad in your life as well.

  3. CK

    19 July, 2015 at 3:07 am

    Well, here in Oz many babies wear no hat at all (even in Summer), run around barefoot in winter at 6 degress celcius and are being constantly being carried around in all different positions instead of being in a proper pram. If you do not like the way the Germans treat their babies, do it differently. But why do you complain about that so much? Nobody forces you to do what the Germans do, right?
    I love you little book and you earlier blogs, but you seem to be criticising a lot lately – are you becoming too much German??

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