Middle Europe Weekly Small Pleasures #33 – Monsoon summer

So far, this is the rainiest summer I’ve spent in Berlin. My first few summers here were good, so last year I was already surprised when June was cold and rainy. This year the cool and rainy weather continued into July, with quite a few days where it bucketed down. Sometimes it was cool and rainy, sometimes warm and rainy with thunderstorms.

Rain at this time of the year is apparently often called the “Return of the Westerlies” because it’s caused by westerly winds from the Atlantic starting again after a break in spring (although this year there was apparently not much break). Some people also call it “European monsoon”.

Either way, it’s a lot of water. And it makes for some interesting skies because of all the thunderstorms.

But it does mean that so far this summer we haven’t  been able to do the normal summer things like barbecues, outdoor kino, swimming at lakes and so on. Luckily this weekend it got a lot warmer (although there’s still been frequent rain). Most of my small pleasures this week revolve around the things we have been able to do outside for a change. Here they are, in no particular order:

Barbecue: We bought some boerewors (a South African sausage) and other sausages from “The Sausage Man Never Sleeps (who specializes in gourmet sausages) at Markthalle Neun, and we’ve been waiting a while to braai it (BBQ it) because it’s been so rainy. This weekend in Czech we were finally able to cook it.

Aperol spritz: I think I drank this on one of the warm but rainy evenings, but I can’t remember anymore. These days it’s so busy at work that I can’t keep up. Anyway, aperol spritz is a lovely orangey drink originating in Italy, and it’s one of the summer favourites at restaurants here in Berlin too (along with the Hugo, made from Prosecco and elderflower with a sprig of mint).

Cats: One of our neighbours has cats who have taken to sitting outside on the window sill now that it’s warmer. They are still a bit shy but keen to watch everything from up above,

Dinner at A-petit. This Asian fusion restuarant in Berlin has (amongst other things), Asian tapas, so we ordered a lot of little dishes to share between our group of five.

Peruvian cumbia concert at Haus der Kulturen der Welt. This building in Tiergarten hosts cultural events such as concerts and movies, and for a friend’s bachelorette party we enjoyed a nice evening here dancing to cumbia, eating arepas and drinking cocktails.

Turkish delight. The weekend before last we were visiting relatives in the UK and I bought one of these chocolates, which you can’t get in Berlin, and ate it this week. It’s always good to enjoy familiar treats.

Harvesting potatoes. In the weekend we were in my husband’s family’s home in Czech Republic, and it happened to be the weekend for harvesting potatoes. I’d never seen them harvested before and this was a lot of fun! A tractor drove along the vegetable patch pulling up the plants and the potatoes popped out like magic. Hunting for them reminded me of an Easter egg hunt. I enjoyed it a lot despite being bitten by a persistent horsefly and stinging my hands on some nettles!

These were the highlights of my week, how about yours?

Have a look at what Mani at  A New Life Wandering and Thistles and Kiwis have been up to in the US and New Zealand as well!


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