Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Saturday, 4 December 2021

In Cold Blood

 


The last days we had snow in Bavaria. A lot of snow. 

Beautiful and picturesque. 



Which I enjoyed tremendously. 

BUT (there is always a "but", I found out): here in the rural area you have to do snow shovelling. 

A "funny" card hangs in the entrance hall that every tenant puts one hook further under the name of the next tenant - after a day of a lot (!!!) of hard shovelling. Cold Comfort Farm.

Fair deal - though I, city-spoilt, am neither used to clean the stairwell (we are 4 tenants) - including even the washhouse (and honestly: the stairwell, cleaned weekly is spick and span, so why bother every week - yet, of course I do (every fourth week) - nor shovelling snow. 

It might substitute my fitness-centre (closed thanks to Corona): it must be done at 7 in the morning (I am a lark - that is not the problem - but they do so long and unnecessary parts in front the house (never used paths, Where Angels Fear to Tread) and in the street - shiver, shiver). AND it must be done as often as snow comes down (how can people do that who are at work in the nearby town?) till 7 o'clock in the evening. 

In Berlin we have a janitor, who does the snow-shovelling, and two men who clean the stair well of the huge house built in 1902. 

But I thought a while. Lady Chatterley sprang to my mind. NO - not what you might expect - but one of the tenants is a young forest ranger. So: quite strong. We made a deal: I pay good money for him shovelling the snow on the day when The ICEMAN my turn Cometh

So we are both happy  - and I am free to go to Berlin without having to speculate whether snow will fall or not. Perfect. 



18 comments:

  1. Everyone lives in the climate they live in, and get totally used to it by the time they start primary school. So understanding that I have never seen snow, would you find snow beautiful and picturesque if you had a choice about living in a region with a warmer winter?

    My handsome grandson has white skin and red hair, and is miserable in our summer. Yes he loves swimming, but he would love to avoid the direct sunshine.

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    1. Dear Helen, for the triplets (2 years old) it was a new and very joyful experience - their first snow!
      As to your question: I believe you would love it - it might depend on the duration you have to live with it.
      Although I am a person who easily feels cold, I would miss the black and white world, the silence, the smell of snow - though after a few days I am glad when it is over. :-)

      Yes, beautiful redheads often have a skin like milk, which is very sensible, so I do understand that they prefer shade while loving the sun nevertheless.

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  2. Your first picture could be an illustration in a Christmas book. You are so smart. Hiring the young man to take care of the snow for you. Good move.

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    1. Thank you, Mimmylynn! As I look into a large vale in Bavaria, the houses look like toys, and with snow on the roof really like a painting. Please keep your fingers crossed for the young man doing the job diligently.

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  3. Snow shovelling so reminds me of my childhood in the north of England - long winters and a big path to clear. I so hated winter then! My fitness centre is open but post covid it is no fun - you have to book, wear masks, can't use the sauna ... I gave up going a while ago.

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    1. Dear Mark, snow reminds me of my childhood too: early morning lying in bed and listening to a world that sounded different. Then someone outside started to shovel - a special sound of scraping, and one knew: snow!
      I was glad that I never had to shovel it away (honestly cannot remember who did that task then).
      Fitness centres here opened again, but even in my posh big one in Berlin there were only a few unswerving ones there (I left) doing work-outs (which I miss, I now walk briskly a lot, but it is not the same) And now they have to close again, I think.

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  4. Shovelling snow is the social occasion of the year here. Neighbours all go out at much the same time (i.e. when it has stopped) to clear their drives and have a good natter. Shovels are great for leaning on.

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    1. Dear Tasker, so we can put it into juxtaposition to lawn mowing - with a little difference: the second lawn mowers only starts when the first has (thank God!) finished...
      Leaning on shovels sounds fine - but I think you need good warm boots.

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  5. Oh, that's using your noggin, Britta! A very nice arrangement, indeed :) Although, as you say, as a gym substitute, nothing could be finer than an early morning shovelling routine ... or so I imagine, having never had to deal with such delights (or otherwise) from my mostly warm-temperate existence. And where, in my parallel world, dancing classes are back on my agenda again - hooray! - although this morning's was scuttled by my bus being cancelled owing to an oxymoronic Fun Run in the city.

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    1. Dear Pip, your description of the "nothing (...) finer than an early morning shovelling routine" reminds me of the scene when Tom Sawyer should paint the fence - he acts as if he he doing the most delicious task and only grudgingly lends the paintbrush to other children, earning an apple and other goodies for his kindheartedness...
      At ten o'clock in the morning and once in a blue moon maybe I would like it too - maybe it is the word "routine" that scares me off, or is it the word "substitute"? I like it warm-tempered, even hot-tempered sometimes. :-)

      I am glad to hear that dancing classes are on your agenda again!

      Here we do a merry-go-round: they start to close everything anew.
      Makes me think of the wonderful movie "Groundhog Day" - as I cannot serve an adequate oxymoron to Fun-Run (hahaha!) I must be content with using a parallelism (hup-haff, sort of... muddled merciful under fluffy snow):
      Bill Murray wakes up every morning to the same snow storm, everything is starting mercilessly again...

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  6. Fun run _is_ oxymoronic, yes 😀

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  7. You've devised the perfect snow shoveling solution. The snow looks pretty especially at Christmas. That said, the shoveling is best done by someone else.

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    1. Dear Susan, I do hope very much that my shovelling solution works out - future will show.
      And yes: White Christmas is special - beautiful, and for a few days I like to walk through snow. Carefully and well-clad in warm clothes and boots.

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  8. I think that I might like to be a janitor, shovelling snow at Christmas, but the novelty might wear off quickly.

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    1. That's what I meant, Tom, when I talked to Pip about the word "routine" scaring me off...

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  9. I would do as you did Britta, pay someone to do it. Rachel xx

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    1. Dear Rachel, I think/hope that this will be the best solution. xxx

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