Stormy outlook

Stormy outlook

This will be fun: we don’t often get real blizzards in this part of the world. But that, at least, is what the weather forecast is promising us this Friday: a lively storm front coming in from the north west, basically uprooting small trees and dumping large amounts of snow across much of Germany. It probably won’t arrive here until after dark, so don’t expect any exciting videos of German cows being hurled through the air.

Of course, that’s what they’re promising, but that, minus the snow and ice, is what they promised for Storm Kyrill a couple of years ago, and while most of the rest of Germany was ducking airborn rooftiles, down here we got some squally winds and a bit of rain. And the neighbour’s fence fell over. My wife has gone into panic mode and has promised that tomorrow, she’ll be filling the car with enough groceries to last us the weekend.

Every year it’s the same. Every year since I’ve been here, my wife has warned me that winters down here are harsh, and that entire bungalows can go missing until April. According to her, ten feet of snow will just drop out of the sky — whump! — and by the time spring arrives, we’ll be eating each other’s legs just to stay alive.

I should have realised early on, given the complete lack of one-legged people around here, that this was just to impress upon me the fact that I’d moved to real men’s territory after spending so long being softened up by the pampered life of a city dweller; but at first I took her warnings to heart and braced myself for the annual Ice Age. In the event, we would always have a couple of days where the snowdrifts came up to our ankles, and then it would melt, except for a couple of icy clumps that local children would use instead of snowballs.

But this winter is going to be different, of course, and this storm — which will cut us off from the outside world — will only be the start of it.

According to my wife.