Monday, 26 December 2016

Christmas Dinner for one or two

As Christmas day approached I was reminded of some fun facts my German cousin Annegret taught me. I visited her in Frankfurt two years ago in the run up to Christmas. She introduced me to a couple of traditional German TV programmes for the festive season. One is watching "Sissi" a highly romanticised story of the courtship of  Emperor Franz Josef I*and Princess Elizabeth. Empress Elizabeth, as she became, was a fascinating but quite mentally unstable woman (in my opinion) and this film was a large part of her mythmaking. Elizabeth was born the year that Victoria came to the throne. There are some interesting parallels between her story and that of the late, lamented Diana, Princess of Wales

The other TV tradition is watching "Dinner for One" a short black and white film, in English. More properly watched on Silvester (New Years Eve), it has become a German tradition to watch in the festive season. People have put theories forward on why it has become a cult classic in Germany, while remaining unknown in English-speaking countries, but essentially it is a mystery.

This article gives you a bit more background (and a  better quality video: skip the first 2 1/2 minutes if you want to miss the German intro)

The scenario seems poignantly relevant for me this year as I spent Christmas Day (and every other day of the holidays) with my elderly client, in my current role as live-in carer. Christmas Day was just her, me, and the turkey. Unlike the film, no alcohol was involved.
a. because I was working, and
b. because this is a teetotal home.

I have been working as a relief live-in carer for the past 4 months, and it certainly raises some talking points about a slew of topics. I'll be discussing some of them with my family when we celebrate a very belated Christmas when I am back home in February 2017.

*New Zealand connection: yes that's the emperor our famous Franz Josef glacier is named for.

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