I spent NEW YEAR'S EVE alone (by choice) after breakfasting with friends. I went shopping, made zucchini tea bread to give as presents, tidied my apartment, and then watched "Dinner for One" at 11:30 pm. This is a classic 1960s sketch about a woman celebrating her 90th birthday, who invites all her friends to attend her birthday dinner. The problem is, all her friends are dead, so the butler must play the role of all the guests. Mild hilarity ensues as he drinks four toasts to every one that the birthday girl makes. As the program finished, I put on my coat, put a piccolo bottle of champagne in my pocket, and planned to into town for New Year's fireworks. I didn't get that far, because I could see HUNDREDS of fireworks in every direction from my terrace. I stayed up til 2:00 am Skyping.
NEW YEAR'S DAY began inauspiciously. I broke a coffee cup while washing up the breakfast things. Later I used the coffee cup as a spoon rest, and while washing up a second time I cut my thumb on the broken coffee cup... badly. I thought I might need stitches, but I went to a neighbor's house and got a second opinion (I took them a zucchini bread!). This coupled with a burn I got while baking the zucchini bread made me a pretty sad little apple in 2008. But I'm happy to report that everything is healed... Gott sei Dank! The rest of New Year's Day was spent in front of the TV, watching the New Year's Concert from Vienna and about 3 hours of alpine skiing and ski jumping.
I spent the rest of my vacation sledding (an hour up, 5 minutes down) and entertaining K & A at the Stainach Glöcklerlauf ("Bell Run"). This is a romantic tradition in which participants dressed in white with bells on their hips carry huge illuminated forms on their backs (stars, city crests, etc.) They "run" through the main city square at night making the same noise as Krampuses but without the threat of thrashing and beating.
The video starts getting good at 00:08, when I zoom out to see the whole tableau:
And now everything is back to normal... all Upper Styrian assistants present and accounted for. We're planning to go to a Maturaball this weekend in Bad Aussee, and perhaps the Night Race in Schladming (World Cup skiing) on January 22. That would be a nice way to celebrate my birthday, don't you think?!