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Taking Stock : February 2015

Taking Stock February 2015 gus and ollie hamburg germany etsy handmade

And with a blink of the eye – it’s March tomorrow. March! It’s hard to believe February is already over….but with our heating turned down a little more now and the sun setting a little later – the slow coming of Spring is just around the corner – we hope.

It’s amazing how these little seasonal triggers creep up on us, isn’t it? It seems like yesterday the sun had gone to bed by 3:30pm and all I wanted was to be home, curled up in our warm apartment with a cuppa and a good book – or my Frankie magazine (thanks Mum).

If you ask most people who live in Europe (at least in my humble experience), they’ll say the month they struggle through most is February. February is cold…really cold, usually extremely windy and even though the days are a little longer than those in December or January – they’re usually darker, wetter and more grey.

My little studio/shop Atelier E-37 from the street.

Hamburg is, in part, known in Germany for the amount of rain we have annually (somewhere close to 800mm/year) which equates to 1/3 days of rain. That’s right – it’s raining here for a third of the year. Novemeber seems to be the wettest month, with Febrary following closely behind.

After the lights and festivities of the Christmas markets in December, the hype surrounding the coming of a new year and the shock of getting back to work/school and routine in January, February seems to be the month when things start to hit home….and the weather feels like it’s never going to improve.

Having lived more than half my life in Australia and growing up there – I never really understood all the talk about weather. How people are so affected by it – the dreaded Winter Blues (it’s a real thing) and so on. Yeah yeah, I’d think. Why is the weather so important? Why does everyone seem to talk about it – mention it or plan their day around it? Well my friends – it’s not until you’ve lived in the Northern Hemisphere (say above 50°N) where days start to get dark and short and cold by September and don’t start to thaw out until April or May – one starts to realise why.

Having no sunshine for weeks on end can really weigh you down. Heading into work in the dark and coming home in the dark – day after day – is not fun. One starts to see the value and need of daylight ‘Wake up Lamps‘ (we have two!) and natural sunlight. My standard line when people ask me about how we – as Australians – survive European winters; ‘I can handle the cold. When you have the right boots, a good coat, hat and gloves, the cold isn’t a problem. It’s the darkness that hard.’

Now the sun is disappearing closer to 6pm and temperatures are generally staying above 0ºC – which makes a huge difference to my motivation and productivity. Bring on the blossom trees of Spring, I say!

Waiting to see these stunning blossom-lined streets of Hamburg – Altona again.

So with the marking of this lovely turning point – February is finally over – it’s time I took stock for the first time this year.

Making : lots of new monkies for stock and orders – but also hoping to finish this crocheted throw rug, just for us.

Hoping to finish this for us this year.

Cooking : lots of warming soups and yummy curries.

Drinking : still mostly tea and water, but splurging on the odd glass of sauvignon blanc.

Reading : the latest book club book: Wild – A journey from lost to found by Cheryl Strayed

Wanting : answers, but probably looking in all the wrong places.

Looking : at lots of things online – from amazing photographs to new crochet patterns.

Playing : board games with friends, which is always fun.

Just a few of the games in our collection.
Just a few of the games in our collection.

Wasting : time sometimes, but hoping to snap out of it soon.

Sewing : A few new Taggy Giraffes. They should be in my Etsy Shop soon.

Gus and Ollie fabric baby taggy giraffe toy softie newborn Hamburg Germany
**coming coon** Taggy Giraffes 🙂

Wishing : things could have been different.

Enjoying : uploading music from the 90’s & swimming lap after lap.

Waiting : for the sun to shine.

Liking : so many things! Articles, books, photographs, diy projects – it’s hard to know where to start.

Wondering : how to pick up the pieces.

Loving : my weekend morning coffee made by my Hubby & my new bike bell from my best friend for Christmas.

Isn’t she pretty. Even rainy days are brighter now.

Hoping : always hoping things will one day work out.

Marvelling : at how much some people can fit into one day.

Needing : some time and space on my own.

Smelling : the rain and sometimes the sunshine too.

Wearing : my fur lined boots – still – always with 2 pairs of socks.

Following : so many inspirational people on Instagram (blog post soon). You can follow me too!

Noticing : all the lovely new cafes and shops popping up all around me. So much construction throughout Hamburg.

Knowing : that time will heal and that I have to keep going.

Thinking : about someone very dear to my heart – all the time.

Feeling : sad, angry, overwhelmed, grateful, hopeful, broken and peaceful all at once.

Bookmarking : everything from osteopaths to new crochet patterns.

Opening : letters from friends and family, full of love and support.

Giggling : not a lot these days, but lots of things make me smile.

Spring flowers in baskets make me smile.
Spring flowers in baskets make me smile.

I hope your February was a little better than mine – but I’m always grateful for who and what I have in my life. Thanks for hanging in there with me.


4 thoughts on “Taking Stock : February 2015

  1. Dear Jess,

    This is the first time I have read through your blog. I think all artists are pretty sensitive to weather. Me too, I would feel down without other reason but the rainy day last. Here in Hong Kong, starting from March, there is month or 2 high humidity, foggy weather; signs of spring. The most inconvenient things is the laundry never dry and having a tumble dryer at home is not popular because of limiting space. So everyday laundry work are massive and complicated; have to leave the dehumidifier on the whole day.Though apart from that, the moist in the air nourishes the plants, they looks so much greener and stronger.

    I love you picture of flower, I love flowers, I love flowers in a little pot and I love to see them line up I don’t of me.

    I always wish to visit Hamburg in Christmas time. I have seen lots of photos about Christmas the market there. It’s stunning.

    I will continue to be a follower of your blog, keep posting.

    Louise fro Hong Kong

  2. Hey Jess! I have just come across your blog too and since I’m hopeless at writing at least I can see what you’re up too. I remember those long winter days all too well and dread February for the opposite reason – it’s too hot! 😀 We hope you guys are both well and sending much love your way. xxxxx

  3. I can sort of imagine how you feel, Jess. We’ve had a few winter holidays in Europe and, yes, the cold is manageable with the right clothes, but the lack of light has been difficult to adjust too! At the moment we’re complaining in our house that it is still dark at 6.30 in the morning because we haven’t gone back from daylight savings! I have to remind myself that we were experiencing much shorter days just a couple of months back in Germany! I hope you are able to experience more sunshine in your days and your heart very soon xx

  4. Well, at least the lack of daylight that you can enjoy in winter is so made up by the long summer daylight hours! There are some countries north of us that require their residents to leave at sometime during the dark, winter season… just so they can deal with cabin fever. I can deal with it being dark, but it is that rain that sometimes gets to me.

    Hope it was just as sunny in HH as it was in Norderstedt today!


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