Never mind, Sir, the tea is nice and weak.”
Now it wouldn’t be very English of me if I didn’t dedicate at least one blog to discussing the weather, would it?! Well, I’ll keep it rather brief in order not to overdo it, but I must say that if the wintry chill across Europe can hit BBC News headlines then it is most certainly worthy of a mention in my blog! To be honest with you all, when I arrived here in Germany, I thought that I was already partially hardened to less-than-comfortable temperatures, what with having resided in an under-heated student house for a year last term in Exeter (financially it was always better to just turn the heating off!). I freely hold my hands up and confess that I certainly over-estimated myself! Temperatures here in Göβweinstein have recently taken on a new meaning of the word “fresh,” and although not a patch on the cold lows that Jack Levent has been experiencing in Siberia, it’s definitely not been shorts weather.
Yesterday during the afternoon, although beautifully sunny and blue, the temperature was lurking around -10 (something that I’m really not accustomed to). In the night it was obviously nearer -15, whilst today at 12 o’clock, sunny again, but around -12. The air is so FRESH! The scenery has been absolutely picturesque because of the sun, what with the Basilika and the Burg standing out beyond everything else. The snow has remained, and well, has been quite deep compared to the thin layers (at best) that we experience in England! As the student, and unsurprisingly bottom of the food chain, I get the honour of clearing up the snow when needed :).Vodpod videos no longer available.
Every household in the village has one of these specially snow-tailored shovels which are quite light, which makes the job of clearing the street a little bit easier (unfortunately not any less cold). I’ve used this shovel so often of late that I’ve started sleeping with it under my bed as if it were a gun.
This little device that you can see is an old machine that Bernd found at the back of the shed, which had been out of action for a good few years! It functions a bit like a lawn mower, except that there’s a big spinning brush on the front which is intended to clear away the last bits of snow and ice from the street. It makes lots of noise, hitting top speeds of 2mph, and doesn’t fail to get the user covered in snow. Bernd and Christian took great pleasure in filming me struggling with this device whilst tractors were driving past doing a much better job than I was.
So yes, it’s been blue, sunny, cold, and snowy, all at the same time. A proper winter if you ask me! My advice is to avoid going outside and keep your fireplace burning at full throttle, at all times. If all else fails, make sure you’ve got a decent coat! Finally just to say thank you to everybody for birthday wishes, they were all really lovely and much appreciated. I had a great birthday considering I was away from home, and was in for a nice few treats from work colleagues, so all in all, couldn’t have asked for any more. It’s just 4 days now until I’m visiting Grace and the family for a week, and, well, I am even more excited than in my last post :).