We’re now well into winter. The last cinnamon breath of Christmas is a distant memory, and the glimmering promise of spring is still too distant to cling to

Though the grey days are getting gradually, doggedly longer – we’re still encircled by a frigid, icy expanse.

OK, perhaps us expats, depending on where we’re from, tend:

a) to talk about the weather a lot, and

b) to over-dramatize it immensely.

The Viennese however are endlessly stoical about the meteorological whims of the season. While we might feel like Scott of the Arctic every time we leave the house to get groceries – for a Wiener, -10°C and a westerly gale straight from the Alps elicits only the laconic response that this is a G’scheiter Winter (a proper winter).

How do the Viennese treat the freezing cold with such equanimity? Is it the genes – do they all have a bit of Ötzi in them? Or is it rather their ability to make the best out of every time of year?

You see, Christmas may be gone, but now ‘tis the season for gliding across a ballroom, and ripping up the piste!

Perhaps, instead of grumbling into our lapels while shiveringly shouldering the wind, we should hunt down ski-passes and ball tickets.

Or, failing that, we should at least learn how to cook a passable goulash.