Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

Dear readers,
Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate - and a few happy days of rest or whatever activity you have chosen to do if you don't celebrate.

One gift I gave and received at the same time already on the evening of the 22nd:
After work, I met up with my sister in Stuttgart to go to the ballet. RJ's Mum had given me tickets for a performance of "Sleeping Beauty", in a wonderful production originally started in 1987 by Marcia Haydée, with Richard Cragun as the Bad Fairy (Carabosse). If you know anything about ballet, you will have heard of Stuttgart Ballet - a world class company, started by John Cranko.
If you are not interested in ballet, none of these names will mean anything to you, but believe me, these were/are great artists.

Stuttgart on 22.12.2015, view across Schlossplatz ("palace square") towards Königstraße ("King's road")

I did see the original production back in the 1980s when I was still a young librarian in the making. It was breathtakingly beautiful, and I am glad the ballet company have decided to add it to their repertoire again. Decades later, it has not lost any of its charm, sparkle and greatness. The dancers who now fill the roles are as great and talented as the ones I saw before. It was an enchanted evening, and I am happy to have been able to share it with my sister.
Pictures can be found here on the official homepage.

My sister and I on Christmas Eve 1973. She gave me permission to use this picture in 2012, and I am using it again this year - boring, I know, but it so fits the occasion.

Yesterday, RJ and I worked until 8.00 pm to complete some last-minute stuff for our customers. RJ gave me a very welcome lift home before he drove on to his parents. Today, I'll have things to do (hairdresser's in the morning, wrapping my gifts, some ironing and probably the gym) before heading to my parents' place for Christmas Eve.

I am looking forward to seeing the tree which my Mum and my sister always decorate. It will be Christmas Eve as we like it - with traditional food, maybe a song or two, family and close friends with us, and exchanging gifts.
Of course, as every year, I will open the parcels that came from England on Christmas morning (except for the one from two of my nieces which says "open me on Christmas Eve" - I really wonder what's in it!).

Right, I best get going!

16 comments:

  1. Thak you and Merry Christmas to you.

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    1. You are welcome, Adrian. Thank you for having become a frequent reader and commenter on my blog this year!

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  2. It sounds as if you will be having a happy Christmas, Meike, and I know you will enjoy it! I have never seen "Sleeping Beauty" at the ballet but the year before last I did see The Nutcracker which is a stalwart of Christmas in London each year.Happy Christmas!

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    1. I do so love the classic ballets, Jenny! "Nutcracker" I saw in a much more low-key production as a teenager, no live orchestra and no world class dancers. "Swan Lake" I saw with Steve, again in Stuttgart, and it was magic. "Romeo & Juliet" was wonderful (Stuttgart). Living so close is an advantage!

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  3. A blessed and beautiful Christmas to you and your family!

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  4. I have never seen "Sleeping Beauty" but I love The Nutcracker! And did you know, I loved the music from the Disney film "The Sleeping Beauty" and I only found out years later that the music was also by the same man who wrote the music for The Nutcracker (which is a favorite for Atlanta audiences having been performed at The Fox Theatre for years.) I LOVE ballet but I really only like to see it as a live performance, it's not the same to watch it on TV.
    Love the photo of you and your sister with your big dolls!
    Wish I could see your Christmas tree with the REAL candles! I am still amazed at that! Merry Christmas to you! I wrote a post about Merry/Happy Christmas and I looked at your Christmas card to see if you wrote Merry or Happy and it was Merry...so...MERRY must be correct! HA HA! Love the warm lighted windows and the heart in the center of the building!
    Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy 2016!!!

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    1. Yes, Tchaikovsky wrote the music for both The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. Amd of course, he wrote the music for Swan Lake, too. This man really knew how to set music for a ballet, didn't he!
      Like you, I don't enjoy ballet (or a theatre play, or an opera) on TV. It has to be a live performance to make it so special.

      Seeing as you so much want to see our tree with the real candles, I guess I shall take my camera with me tonight and post a picture of it here for you :-)
      I knew you'd like the heart on the house on your Christmas card!

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  5. The ballet sounds wonderful and something I have never seen as a live performance. My two sisters and I all had dolls like these for Christmas one year, although it was in the 50s, but they looked the same. Mine had dark brown plaits and a purple dress and I called her Hazel. Happy days. A very happy Christmas to you Meike.

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    1. My doll's name was Martina, and my sister called hers Marion. We chose those names because we used to know twin sisters at kindergaren named Marion and Martina. They were the first twins we ever consciously met, and that left a lasting impression on us.

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  6. When you and your sister were little did you act out wrestling matches between your two dolls? I bet your doll won. She looks very tough! I bet her name was Freyja. Happy Christmas Meike - I hope the real candles on the tree don't set the house on fire!

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    1. The real candles have never set our house on fire, not when we were little and not when we had several cats running around. Besides, there is always a bucket of water nearby, just in case... (our cats loved to drink from it. I am sure they thought we'd set it up specifically for them.).
      The wrestling matches were never between our dolls, only between ourselves. And as I am the younger one, I usually lost. But I had other ways of getting back at my sis, such as secretly eating all her chocolate Easter bunnies!
      As for the dolls' names, see my reply to Maggie May :-)

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  7. Merry Christmas to you Meike. Thanks for sharing your pictures with us and the Ballet sounds (and looks) like an amazing experience.
    Enjoy your Christmas Eve and day tomorrow. :)

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    1. Thank you, Karen, and the same to you!

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  8. I wish you and all your family a very joyful Christmas! I went to the ballet in Stuttgart when my cousin came to visit me in '74 and many times to the opera when we lived in Germany.

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    1. Thank you, Kristi!
      Then you know how everything - even just entering the beautiful opera house where the ballet performance took place - is part of the experience.

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