Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Life in Kiel

Peruvian Mangoes & Needle Rain

And so we have arrived, cold, pale-skinned and severely Vitamin D deprived, in my most hated month of the Northern Hemisphere year; February. Ooh she is a cruel mistress, February. And oh how I have so very often bemoaned her cold, grey ways. She does it to me every year, drives me up the walls of the apartment she forces us to hunker down in as the rain falls and the temperature hovers at a number germs and viruses thrive in, and all the way back down again. Every year. Every damn year.

Der Lüdde and I went out to the markets yesterday, for a coffee that was cold within minutes, and a stroll with a friend. The cold at the moment is wet, wet and biting, of course if you are a baby wrapped in a lamb’s wool-lined suit, that doesn’t really matter. Oh to be a baby wrapped in lamb’s wool and marvellously ignorant of Schietwetter. The markets this time of year are quieter, less colourful. Loads of pale,  knotty root veggies blinking in the light. That being said, in amongst the stalls of turnips and woodfired bread and tiny organic leeks, was a rainbow fruit stall, selling Peruvian mangoes for 6.50€ a piece. Quite apart from not being desperate enough  to pay 6.50€ for a single mango, yet, I have become accustomed to eating more seasonally, and the idea of a mango in February felt wrong. It seems a touch of the German sense of Ordnung has indeed got under my skin. (Now, the idea of a mango in February in Australia, well that is quite simply enormously right.) But, look, I have to say … I picked up a mango and smelled it, looking like a real loon, but it begged me to, with its sunset skin and sweet, sweet smell … maybe I am closer to paying 6.50€ for a Peruvian mango than I thought. This is what February in this part of the world does to you. Robs you of reason.

On the way home from picking die Lüdde up from her playgroup, the needle rain started and before long we were all dripping, cheeks red, eyelashes wet. Die Lüdde clung determinedly to a soggy rice cake, a gift from her little mate. The rain didn’t let up for most of the rest of the day, so we resigned ourselves to another day of puzzles and drawing and Kneate and fossicking around the apartment to find things we could turn into games (‘look, an old tin full of biros that may or may not work – why don’t you go through each and every one of them and test them out!’). This time of year is tricky with kids – it is too cold or too wet or too miserable to haunt a Spielplatz, or one of them is nursing just enough of a cough to not make standing in the damp cold for a few minutes of slippery dip fun quite worth it. So you build up craft boxes, grabbing glitter pens and sticker whenever you see them, dropping 12€ at Tiger on anything colourful that can be glued to paper. You crack out the puzzles you cleverly bought months back and put away for a rainy day (ie: the entire season of winter) and you read a lot of books. A lot. No wonder Germany is das Land der Dichter und Denker. The weather means one has not much else to do except sit inside and think and perhaps jot a poem or two down about how god awful the weather is and consequently, how dark one’s soul is.

Tja. February. You test me every time.


  1. Caroline

    3 February, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Your post so catches what February feels like! In this case it does not make a difference if you live in Kiel or in Munich… At least February is shorter. Imagine it would be as long as January 😉 Cheers, Caroline

  2. morri

    3 February, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    I think november and december are the worst, at least in febrary you have significantly more light. and you know it is going to gwt better whereas in november you know your are up to another half ear of darkness

  3. morri

    3 February, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    my kid is 4 years old. and has no grasps of puzzles other than 2 piece puzzles, instead likes to treat them like cards and lose them . thats why she does not get anything anymore where it is vital to have all pieces. (like puzzles or memory games. as they all end up in severel boxes(boxes and bags are her fav toys, and she hasnt got a lack of bags from her dads business class air travels..)

  4. vegasmike433

    4 February, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    I can honestly say that I have never read one of your entries without having a sense you were speaking to me personaly, and allowing me to feel exactly what you were wanting to share. Having traveled many times to Germany, I know exactly how the weather can become your nemesis. You will see the warm sun again, with a rapturous feeling of appreciation. Liv, you are an awesome communicator, .I enjoy each and every post. Please stay well and happy, I invite you and your family here to Las Vegas, with more than 300 days of sunshine per year and less than 4 inches of rain annually .Brightest major city on the Planet. Sincerely Yours, Michael

  5. JuLi

    4 February, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Februar ist herrlich – quasi der Anfang vom Ende des Winters! 😀 Es wird wieder früher hell und später dunkel, eine leichte Ahnung von Frühling liegt langsam in der Luft, die Vorfreude auf den Frühling und Sommer steigt, und für viele Leute geht mit viel Spaß und Eifer und noch mehr Vorfreude das Vorziehen der Pflanzen für Garten und Balkon wieder los – yayy! 😀
    Kommt eben alles auf die Sichtweise an… 🙂
    Auch ohne Garten und Balkon kann man gut mit Kindern ein paar Pflanzen, sogar Mini-Tomaten, auf der Fensterbank ziehen, da hätte die Lüdde vielleicht so langsam Spaß dran. 🙂

  6. Renate Barreras

    7 February, 2017 at 3:16 am

    This I do not miss. But for me November is the worst.

What do you think?