I went to a beach on the weekend. I was up north (way up north, 40-minutes-from-the-Danish-border-north) in the seaside city of Kiel and Sunday dawned 14 degrees. What’s a German to do when it crashes through the double digits for the first time in months? Unwind the pashmina, get in the car, and head to the water. I wasn’t in Muenster, but I suspect the harbour and lake were pumping on Sunday and, similarly, the beach at Kiel was full of revellers. Some had even cracked out a grill on the beach and were barbecuing. Once upon a time I would have scoffed, ‘premature my friends, premature.’ Once upon a time, 14 degrees was considered a normal winter’s day, one that warranted complaining and bitching about the need to wear a scarf. Once upon a time, flat surf and a teeny strip of sand would have garnered an eye-roll from my inner beach snob.

But, no longer.

On Sunday, European Liv shunned the scarf and partially unzipped her plastic bag jacket. She cheered on the barbecuers. She relished prancing along the pier. She didn’t make one  comment about the flat surf … fine, she made one comment, but it was in the interest of geographical conversation. Because European Liv has learnt to appreciate good weather in a way she never has before.

Australian Liv is spoilt and takes the sun for granted. She has made a habit of following it around the world.  She has turned up her nose at winter fashion, riding out Sydney’s 2 months of coolness by hibernating in leggings and jumpers. Australian Liv complains at anything below 15 degrees.

But European Liv now rejoices at anything above 6. She skips when it hits 9. She chanted all through February, ‘as long as it isn’t snowing.’ She lives on wetter.de and verbally charts the climbing temperatures to anyone in ear-shot.  On Sunday, European Liv tipped her pale face to the sky and thanked Zeus himself that Winter.Is.Over.

(Next step … slyly pick daffodils off the path without anyone noticing. There is a great crop on my walk the bus stop, but it’s right near a school and I just know I will be spotted.)

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