Friday, 6 January 2012

Playing with fire

The trouble with 'Mama School' (as Ana calls it) is exams.

January exam preparation leaves little time for faffing and whimsy, or blogging.

I'll light the fire. 
However, here I am eating a biscuit anyway.

So there! So happy New Year!

Was yours magical? Mine certainly was.

I spent it in a candlelit apartment in the clouds, in the company of wonderful tall and short people and one yet to be born (not mine - don't get excited).

The kids burned themselves on sparklers and the adults burned themselves on oil fondue. We engaged in a dodgy traditional game that involves pouring molten metal into cold water and demanding answers from the suggestive shapes that emerge.

Apparently residents of Berlin can only buy missiles on the last week of the year. The local term for 'missiles' is 'fireworks', which rather gives England a run for its money in the understatement department.

Due to a shortage of missiles the rest of the year, the place goes nuts on New Year's Eve.

Bonkers, hopping, flapping mad.

See here:

People fire missiles from balconies into the street. From the street, they take aim at windows. Momentarily forgetting their lack of fire-retardant titanium exoskeletons, they even take aim at each other.

This practice is known locally as 'fun' and 'games' and 'chill out English lady'.

I saw people juggling flaming torches on slanted rooftops without safety railings.

Others set sail their dreams on fire lanterns from riverbanks, which drifted into the sky like sluggish nocturnal butterflies, miraculously impervious to the missiles.

Everyone involved in the firestorm consumed vast galaxies of beer within a gathering blanket of missile smoke.

It was pure scary magic.

I always say that Berlin is magical. But it isn't actually the place. Rather, some of my favourite people live there. People I share a past, a future, and some of my very best fire lantern dreams with.

As I'm told they say in Iceland: thank you for all years past.


  1. Berlin is one of my favourite cities! It sounds like the perfect place to spend New Year! Happy 2012! Emma :)

  2. I love Berlin so much. I've attended the film festival a few times and what an incredibly creative city to be in.

  3. Imagine being in a plane over Berlin at midnight on New Year....

  4. That would be truly, truly scarily beautiful. Perhaps they close the airspace...

  5. Every day in Berlin feels like a film festival, no? What a cool place - happy New Year to you and yours :)

  6. Best wishes for your year Emma! Now if only Berlin had more Bavarian food it would surely be heaven....

  7. That was an incredible video...

    It sounds like a wonderful night had by all!!

  8. Thank you Jenny, it was a great kick-off to the year for sure - happy New Year to you and yours :)

  9. Ah yes, they do like to celebrate Silvester with a big bang in Deutschland. Sounds like you had a fab time.

    Happy New year!