It’s New Year’s Eve. Time for balls, for some. Especially in Vienna, but I’m beginning to suspect I’ll never make that Strauss waltz in a snowy Austria. Oh, well.
Edinburgh is big on New Year. Although I’m not there either. But it’s the origin of these crystal balls. Thirty years ago Mother-of-witch brought home the one on the right. She’d gone to Edinburgh for some kind of conference. She only went because it was in Edinburgh, giving her an excuse to go. And maybe the ball at the castle, I suppose.
The Grandmother remembers seeing Swedes at the ball she attended at Edinburgh castle. Thirty years ago. That’s when the Grandfather received the ball on the right. The inscriptions on both balls say SIEC conference. (I think that might be this kind of thing.)
The bookwitch met the Resident IT Consultant the following year. It took us a bit longer to match up the crystal balls, but it’s clear the two balls at the castle were one and the same .
Are you keeping up with the balls so far?
Setting aside youthful dreams of Vienna waltzes, the only New Year’s ball we see these days is the one on Wolfgang’s nose in Sesame Street. It will fall at midnight. Until it does, the Count counts the seconds. Ahahah. Is it childish of us to watch the same episode of Sesame Street every year?
It’s Christmas. I suppose there’s practically no one here, so let’s have some fun and relaxation with music.
I never imagined I’d even think of offering you the Smurfs singing Christmas songs in Danish. (I had a weak moment at Kastrup airport one December. In case you wondered.) But then I thought, you all love The Killing, and go round trying out those very Danish sounding Danish words and names. So you will adore the Smurfs. Won’t you?
Here are Smølferne with Så er det jul alle smølfer, aka Merry Christmas Everybody.
I went travelling at Christmas time again and bought a Swedish Christmas CD. I especially liked one track. Still had no idea quite how fun it would be to actually see The Real Group sing, rather than just listen to them. And this is top quality singing. (Sorry about the Smurfs.)
Here you have The Real Group with their Christmas medley. Four of them sing a mix of hymns and lighter seasonal fare, while the fifth member of the group keeps trying to sing his song. The other four constantly interrupt him, until they finally give in…
God Jul! And Hej!
First I spent years in the belief that kale soup is a traditional Christmas meal in the part of the world where Mother-of-witch grew up. We would have it on Christmas Day, followed by rice porridge. (No need to feel sorry for me. It’s delicious.)
Then I learned it’s not a widespread habit at all. I suppose it was my Grandmother who felt it made for a lighter and cheaper meal to have on the day after the big Christmas meal, and her daughters continued this lack of tradition.
So did her granddaughter, and my first Christmas in England saw me trawling The Lanes in Brighton for kale. ‘No dear, but we have some nice broccoli,’ was generally the reply to my question.
Once we arrived in the north it’s been easier to obtain kale. But then you have the casual conversations when people inquire what we eat for Christmas. They always feel sorry for me. Especially if they know what kale is. And then they tease me.
In the place where I grew up, people eat kale in a different way, but plenty of it, and always as part of the Christmas Eve ‘table.’ Basically, you boil it and then you fry it and then you smother it with butter and cream…
They want a lot of it, so drag home sackfuls of kale from the market in December.
Witnessing this, one newcomer to our area was totally taken aback. Where she came from they put a small sprig of kale on the table for decoration. She was impressed by the amount of table decorating her new neighbours must be getting involved in.
The one change I’ve made to the menu is that we skip the whole Christmas smörgåsbord and I now serve up the non-traditional kale soup on Christmas Eve, closely followed by the rice porridge. One Offspring likes it and the other hates it, so has tinned tomato soup instead. That’s also a tradition.
Go on. Pity me! Or them.
Posted in Christmas