New Year in the Carpathians

New Year in the Carpathians

Last night, New Year’s Eve (or Silvester as they call it locally) was beyond cold. The thermometer broke so I’ve no idea just how cold it got but in the morning it was minus 17 Centigrade.

We spent several hours preparing wood from old planks and beech and oak logs, then made sure both the living room fire and the bedrooms’ traditional brick and tile pec were stocked. We went through a honking amount of wood battling the cold. We treated ourselves to a few luxury foodstuffs for symbolism – ruby port, fine cigar, Swiss chocolate, Stilton cheese, pistachios, Italian Panetone, non-alcoholic German Sekt for the kids… At midnight we set off fireworks in the back garden.

I hope 2015 will be a good year for all of us. I’ve entered it with no pre-concieved plans, which is unusual for me, and will await the Muse. New Year’s Eve was a challenge we overcame and which resulted in successful enjoyment. I hope that set the tone for the entire year

Happy New Year to everyone!

Halloween 2014

Halloween 2014

Last night we celebrated Hallowe’en at the house. Ye gods it was cold but it wouldn’t be the same doing it at the flat. The house has an atmosphere and ambient very conducive for candlelight and creepiness. We had both fires going but the temperature just wouldn’t climb. The kids wrapped themselves in wool blankets and we watched horror films and then told each other ghost stories. It was great fun as always.

Another reason I like Halloween is that it’s the only celebratory festival where the kids look forward to it for the ambient and activities rather than for presents and materialism.