Only One Day of 2006 Left!
Federico, my friend!
I understand that you have been very busy (at work) during the last week and that finding the time to blog has not been easy for you. Now, I guess, you are perhaps preparing for New Year celebrations. I hope to hear from you before the year ends but, just in case I don’t, I thought I’d post this blog today. If I have time before I leave for Paris – very early tomorrow morning – I’ll post a final blog just to wish you, and all our loyal and generous readers, Happy New Year.
So, what has been happening in Lima? One of our readers, from Russia, says that it has been raining very heavily and there is severe flooding in parts of Peru. I have heard nothing about that in the news here. How bad is it, and have you been affected?
Here the weather continues to be strange. Last night we had a fierce storm with extremely strong winds, but this morning it is like a day in late spring – bright sunshine and temperatures around 14 degrees, no wind, no rain, just perfect in fact. I hope it stays like this in our part of Europe for the next few days (the climate in Paris is more or less the same as the climate in London).
I’m sorry that this has to be such a short blog but I have to go to the bank to collect my euros (for Paris), then I have to pack, and then I have to go out and do some food shopping so that Lucy doesn’t starve while I’m away. Actually, I feel very uneasy about leaving Lucy here. It was her choice to stay here. She’s going to a New Year party with some good friends and I’m sure she’ll be OK, but…
Some of our readers asked about New Year in Moscow. I know Moscow quite well having been there five or six times. The last time I was there was for New Year three years ago. I found it fascinating to be back there for the first time since the end of the USSR. It was cold, of course, but not too bad, and there was no snow until about 11.00 pm on New Year’s Eve when it started to snow gently so that by midnight Red Square was just perfectly ‘decorated’. Red Square is one of my favourite places in the world. In winter, covered in fresh snow, it is like fairyland. Lucy and I had a good time with our Russian ‘champagne’ and a handful of balloons and streamers. Everyone around us was friendly. The entertainment was good, and the fireworks at midnight were lovely. One of the best photographs I have ever taken shows St Basil’s Cathedral, the Kremlin, part of Red Square and the New Year fireworks.
There will be fireworks in Paris tomorrow night. If I can relax enough to stop worrying about Lucy (and whether she’s wrecking the house!), I’m sure I’ll enjoy them. If I get any good photographs I may be able to post them here before the end of next week. With a bit of luck I should be able to continue blogging, with a new student, during January, too.
Here is London, people gather in Trafalgar Square to listen to Big Ben at midnight on New Year’s Eve. When I was a much younger man I spent a New Year’s Eve there, dancing and splashing around in the fountains. Nowadays, the fountains are switched off and covered for the night, which is a good idea. I spent the next month trying to recover from the worst flu I’d ever had. It was minus ten degrees and all those of us stupid enough to jump in the fountain were totally soaked. Like I said, I was a VERY young man.
Down by the River Thames, by the London Eye (a huge wheel you can take a ride on – the view from the top is spectacular), there are fireworks, too. But London probably isn’t the best place to be in Britain on New Year’s Eve. If you are ever here for New Year you should try to get to Edinburgh, in Scotland. There they have a two-week Winter Festival with ice-skating, rock concerts, fairgrounds and fireworks. On New Year’s Eve itself – the Scots call it Hogmanay – there are hundreds of thousands of people on the streets of the city centre and the atmosphere (so long as you don’t mind crowds!) is wonderful.
Right now, though, Federico, I am thinking of you. You must be very overworked. Now you really must find time to relax and enjoy the New Year. I hope to hear from you today. But if you really can’t make it, well, have a great New Year’s Eve and a healthy, happy and successful 2007. It has been a really great experience for me to blog with you for these four weeks. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. I hope it’s been useful, too.
All the very best of luck with your exams and your plans for Australia.
SOME USEFUL WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS
very bad, extreme
to put clothes, etc., into a suitcase before a journey
die from lack of food (I am using the word in an ironic, exaggerated, way here)
very long narrow strips of coloured paper used for decoration
With a bit of luck
If everything goes well, if nothing unexpected happens
as wet as possible
Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.