I first arrived in Berlin with three wool coats and a pair of leather boots determined to survive the winter with what I had. How foolish I was. All wool coats should be confiscated at the German border and swapped for the biggest, puffiest duvet of a jacket. Preferably, the German's favourite, a Jack Wolfskin.
After a month of misery, I finally succumbed to buying said duvet with arms and I've never looked back. To help you survive the hellish Berlin winter I've pulled together a few tips.
1. Layer up
Do not leave the house without covering every part of your body in multiple layers. The only thing that should be showing are your eyes, and only in tiny slits that just about let the light in and help you see your way.
2. Invest in a good jacket with a hood
3. Mittens are your new best friend
Mittens are better than gloves for keeping your fingers from freezing off. Yes, they're impossible for you to do almost anything but they do keep your fingers toasty warm.
4. Forget fashion, buy the warmest looking boots you can find
Fleece lined boots. Need I say more? Forget fashion. You need some sturdy boots with good grip and sweet, sweet fleecy innards.
5. Woolly socks with your fleece-lined boots? Heaven.
My toes go numb in the cold, so numb that's it's easy to imagine myself as one of Roald Dahl's Witches, with nothing but square stumps for feet. Combining woolly socks with my fleece lined boots is akin to foot heaven.
6. Grow that facial hair
Grow a beard. No, this might not be the best advice for half the population but I have it on good authority that a beard does wonders for protecting your face against the icy wind.