31 Dec 2009

Happy New Year

I am a creature of habit, and as I move into my second year of blogging I regularly discover that the things we are doing this year closely mirror those of the last.

This New Year's Eve is no different. It is hot, so we will spend much of the day inside my parents' well airconditioned home. This evening we will eat out at a favourite bayside restaurant with my sister and brother-in-law while my long-suffering Mum and Dad mind the various grandchildren. Same as last year. Same as the year before that. We love it! Most years my brother and sister-in-law come too. We will raise a toast to them tonight as the clocks tick over onto midnight...if we last that long. This is only a new tradition for us, but it is rapidly becoming ingrained.

Like blogging. It's becoming ingrained too.

I didn't have many readers in December 2008, and yet I still think that my early posts are among my best. So for this New Year's Eve I am going to do my first repost. It is appropriately titled 'Same procedure as every year', and it was written on the last day of 2008. I hope you enjoy it:

We don't have many traditions for New Year's Eve. Sometimes we go out for dinner with family and friends; other years will find us in front of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the television, but there's one thing that we never miss - the crazy Dinner for One.

How an obscure British skit, written in the 1920's, could become a New Year's tradition over much of Europe is a mystery, but I have watched it every year since I spent Christmas in Norway 23 years ago. Now, thanks to You Tube, you can watch it too...

So here's the plot...such as it is:

Elderly Miss Sophie loves to celebrate her birthday every year with a dinner party. She sets the table for her closest friends - Sir Toby, Mr. Pommeroy, Mr. Winterbottom, and Admiral von Schneider- and wines them and dines them in style. The only problem is, the last of the men died 25 years ago...

Enter loyal butler, James...

Every year since, James has manfully saved the occasion by playacting each missing guest in turn. He serves both drinks and food while quaffing toasts on behalf of each guest - three soused British noblemen and the German von Schneider, who toasts Miss Sophie with a heel-click and a throaty "Skål!" You can imagine what happens with all that alcohol... James sways to and fro, has an ongoing argument with the tiger-pelt rug, spray-fires the table with mispoured drinks, and downs a little water from a flower vase.

Each course begins with James asking: "The same procedure as last year, madam?" Each time Miss Sophie replies: "The same procedure as every year, James." The sketch ends with James' final "procedure" - you can only guess what that might be...

The film is not politically correct. James and Miss Sophie are well and truly sozzled - and end up rather immoral as well, but my family will be watching it this New Year's Eve - along with half of the population of Germany and viewers in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Faroe Islands, Austria, South Africa and Australia. (In Norway where I first saw it it views on Little Christmas Eve - 23rd December.) It is the most repeated television programme in history...

Why? Because Dinner for One is very funny.

The 10 minute You Tube video is in English - the introduction is in German.

Have a look. It really is funny - I promise!!

Oh and a "Glückliches Neujahr!" from me and my family to you and yours!!


  1. happy new year! thanks for being part of my real and blogging worlds :)

  2. A very happy New Year to everyone at your house from ours Jeanne. It will be very quiet here. The kids will light sparklers and cooee out in the street. We will watch a movie and the fire works. (I will probably not make it mid night but we can usually catch the earlier show in the southern states!) I was looking forward to minding one of the grandkids but they have changed their plans. I think a sleep in is order tomorrow.

    May God bless you richly in 2010, my blogging buddy!

  3. Hi Jeanne,
    I wish you a very Happy New Year. May God continue to bless you during 2010.

    We aren't doing terribly much for New Year's celebrations - sparklers are banned in our district.

    Love and blessings,
    Jillian ☺

  4. Happy New Year, Jeanne! Wish we could run about in the streets waving sparklers. It's much too cold though! Only 27F. at the moment and it just stopped snowing. A little of your too hot weather would we nice right about now. Have a joyful celebration!

  5. Hi Jeanne,
    Happy New Year from our home to yours. God bless you in 2010. Thanks for being part of my life. Looking forward to your coming posts and your guidance.
    Do you still want to do something together?

  6. Hi Louise, Happy 2010 to you too! Would love to catch up with you for a BBQ. We will be in Melbourne for three weeks from Sunday 3rd. When are you away?

  7. A very Happy New Year to you and your family! Looking forward to all of your posts in this new year! xxx

  8. You were right; the video is terribly funny. When the girls surface [too much New Year] I'll show them too.

    Blessings from our house to yours.

  9. We leave on the 9/01. Please email/ call me!

  10. It will be great to watch Edinburgh Military Tattoo, i have bought tickets from
    http://ticketfront.com/event/Edinburgh_Military_Tattoo-tickets looking forward to it.


I'd love you to leave me a message. Tell me what you like - and what you don't. Just remember that this is what we do in our family - it doesn't have to be what you do in yours...