Winter in the Netherlands is a continuous weather check. It’s one day with gale-force winds, another with sudden snow, another with flooding rain. Every morning I wake up and look out the window to see what I’m in for that day.
Winter in the Netherlands is powdered snow and slippery ice in the bike lanes. It’s squeezing into the bus and gazing out at the cyclists on wobbly wheels. There are some who wouldn’t dare ride when there’s ice on the road. There are others who will ride their bikes into the apocalypse.
Winter in the Netherlands is going to work in the dark; it’s coming home in the dark; it’s getting dressed in the low light of your bedside table lamp and hoping that you’ve got the right shade of makeup because you won’t really know until about midday – and by then, it’s too late.
Winter in the Netherlands is praying for sunlight and then shivering the rest of the day because sunlight doesn’t warm like it should. On the contrary. Sunlight in winter is a sign that today will be especially frigid.
Winter in the Netherlands is getting excited when you see the first bulbs pushing through the dirt. Snowdrops, daffodils, and tulips. Flowers that hibernated through autumn and snow are starting to peek through and sniff the air, trying to decide when they should make an appearance. When they do, the weather will change again. They know to expect a few more snow storms before spring really arrives.
Winter in the Netherlands is too cold for an Australian, too warm for a Dutchman, and just right for my dog, Edmund, who roll in the snow and rub ice in his fur. The little shit.