I've got the 'winter, post-holidays, sub-zero, wish-it-were Mallorca blues'
Today is January 10, 2024. Not an official holiday, just the day that both of my kids were supposed to be back in school and I could get back to work.
Alas, as is so often the case here, nothing is going according to plan.
My daughter is home with some kind of virus. (No fever, so no corona - as far as we can tell.) My son is home because his teacher is sick. And, in Berlin secondary schools, a sick teacher often means cancelled classes.
My husband overdid it bike commuting in subzero temps, so he is here working from the home office (a.k.a. our bedroom).
Right now, I am typing at the dining room table while my son does IXL Math and Khan Academy across from me. (No winter break from 'Mom school.')
Oh, and the train drivers' union is on strike.
But really, it's so cold I have to psyche myself up for just the essential trips outdoors. The dogs get their short walks, and I will dash over to the grocery. But that's it.
We are rather lucky in Berlin - the BVG, our local transport association, is not subject to the strike. Should we want to go somewhere, we can still use the trams, buses and U-Bahn.
For more intrepid Berliners, there is actually quite a lot to do in winter.
You could check out one of the many art exhibits, openings or installations that are always a compelling part of Berlin's landscape.
To properly get in the mood for the long, dark winter, a good choice would be Dark Rooms: Vertical a modern immersive experience installed in an abandoned automobile factory.
Visitors climb 12 floors high above Berlin and discover captivating light and sound installations in every room.
You walk through trees of lightning, see the clarity of burning forests or the beauty of a cornfield deep in the darkness of a 100-year-old building.
All works are unseen in Berlin, many are premieres. Some were created specifically for the building. The exhibition is therefore only for this moment and cannot be repeated.
Or, pay a visit to one of Berlin's many independent movie theaters, known as 'Kinos' in German. Kreuzberg's Movimiento, the oldest cinema in the country, was recently saved from redevelopment and will continue to operate in the location it has occupied since 1907.
And, of course, if partying is your thing, Berlin is famous for its clubs.
You won't find me trying to get into Berghain, but I might have to climb some of those dark vertical towers, visit a cafe or two, while I while away the weeks until spring.