26 March 2009

One thing I like about living on the 'countryside' is the closer contact to the seasons. In the city, I had started to miss that.
I have vivid memories of 6 years of biking to school, 45 minutes in the morning, and 45 in the afternoon. No matter the weather, I almost always biked, as the next bus stop was a 15 minutes walk and the train station a 15 minutes bike ride. So I came to understand that west wind (most common in that part of the Netherlands) meant hard work in the morning and being pushed home by the wind in the afternoon. West wind was strong, not constant, bringing rain. East wind is a continuous force to work against, since it seemed it never worked in my advantage. It came from the land (whereas west wind came from the near sea) and was either bringing very hot or very cold weather. It meant being fast in the morning, but after a long day of school, fighting against the wind and the cold in the afternoon.
Part of the route to school was a long road through the fields. The road was very Dutch: flat, fields, windmills. All kinds of animals greeted me every morning: cows, horses, sheep. I miss biking this road in spring: flowers jumping out of the soil, little lambs jumping around.
Okay, before I bury myself in nostalgy, I jump to city life.
In Berlin, for instance, there is not much wind. Weatherwise, Berlin is rather boring. I think I have experienced 5 thunderstorms in 5 years.The lack of wind in Berlin makes for the famous stable grey sky that drives foreigners back home, or in my case, southwards.

Now, I live in the south and it has been strange. 100 Kilometers away is Rome, with a totally different climate than here. I, growing up below sealevel, had to learn what it means to live at 700 meters altitude. Up here it is 10 degrees colder than in Rome. One hour away, people walk around in t-shirts, here I see the fresh snow from last night.

Spring is waiting and I haven't been riding a bike for months! Shame on me. That will be different soon. In the mean time, I make bread and the last winter and first spring vegetables. I am working on an article about wild coffee, and will finish translating a big text. And spend some time waiting for answers work/career-related...

In the mean time, this is how you make gnocchi, as a father teaches his son who's wearing a cute apron! (Next time I know how to properly hold the camera, sorry!)

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