Guten Rutsch/Happy New Year

Guten Rutsch/Happy New Year

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Upon our return from South Africa,Christmas was just around the corner and it was that time of the year when you see a mad Santa hanging outside of windows. It was also that time of the year when our beautiful city usually gets filled with beautiful markets and decorations. It was also that time of the year when a secret Santa placed some chocolates on my doorstep while I was asleep. It was also that time of the year when Santa, Rudolf the deer and an angel visited us at ZEF. Moreover, it was that time of the year when I was pulling my curtains expecting to see the first snow of the year.The first snow is like the first love. Do you remember your first snow? We were lucky to have at least one day of snow and I even made my very own cute snowman and watched it melt.

On new year’s eve, someone left me some new year treats outside my window ☺️ In case you were wondering, the cute little figures are marzipan made chimney sweeps.  In Germany, seeing a chimney sweep is a sign of good omen for the new year.Also on new year’s eve,raise a glass on a German New Year’s Eve and you’ll likely encounter this toast: “The same procedure as last year?” “The same procedure as every year.” It comes from a 15-minute, black-and-white comedy sketch, in English with a British cast, but filmed in Hamburg in 1962. It’s called Dinner for One, and it’s been shown on German television networks every New Year’s Eve for decades.Just as the Queen’s Speech goes with a British Christmas Day, so Dinner for One goes with German New Year’s Eve.In 2018, more than 12 million Germans tuned in, accompanied by another 100,000 across Scandinavia, the Baltic countries and Switzerland. Dinner for One  was shown 12 times on German public TV channels alone, starting at 10.30 in the morning and continued until just before midnight. Much of the country was transfixed, as ever, by the spectacle of James, the butler, serving dinner for Miss Sophie on her 90th birthday.She’s quite forgotten that the friends she’s invited to this annual birthday dinner have all long since died.So it falls to James to follow “the same procedure as every year”, serving the imaginary guests – and drinking, on their behalf, to Miss Sophie’s health, over and over again – with hilarious results.Dinner for One has been so popular, for so long, that its English catchphrase “the same procedure as every year” has become an intrinsic part of the German language. You see it in newspaper headlines, hear it in conversation and in political debate.For Marwa,”The same procedure as last year” included sending her research partners around the world the new ZEF 2019 research in pictures calendars as well as some greetings cards and ZEF magazines.

I hope that 2019 would be a great year for all of us, more energy, more hope, much more gratitude and may all our dreams come true. Happy 2019 all the way from Bonn ❤ ❤ ❤

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