Once again, New Year’s Eve finds me in la Ville de Chambéry. Unlike last year when I was very, very sick until New Year’s Eve, this year has been fantastic. Yesterday, we managed to sneak in an afternoon of skiing at Margeriaz, which is very near Chambéry. It snowed a couple of days ago, so the slopes were brilliant. The only down-side was the hordes of people and the 2-hour wait in the queue to rent equipment. Other than that, it was a great day. I even managed to remember some of the stuff I learned last year at Les Menuires! For those who don’t know me, I’ve been skiing exactly 3 times. The first time was an afternoon in Andorra, then a week last year and yesterday.
New Year’s in France is a bit different than other parts of the world. In typically French fashion, a New Year’s Eve party is primarily focused on food and conversation. It seems like you can’t really have one without the other in this country. Maybe if you’re some kind of social outcast or something…. Of course, this is in dramatic contrast to the emphasis on alcohol consumption in Ireland and to a somewhat lesser degree, in the U.S. Still, it’s generally entertaining, and you can’t argue with the quality of the food and the wine.
Tomorrow will be a big dinner with escargot, smoked salmon, raw oysters, foie gras and a lamb roast. Did I mention that thing about food??? Of course the surprise will be what comes from la cave. It could be anything from a 1979 Bordeaux, a 1988 Bourgogne [it was actually a 1980 premier cru and fantastic! ed.] or something completely different. This is a long way from the all-day college football fest that I grew up with. I doubt the TV will even be turned on. Still, if you’re in the US, according to MSNBC there isn’t much to look forward to this year in that department either.
Nearly time to head out to the festivities, so I’ll wish everyone “Bonne Année” and Happy New Year. Hopefully, in the new year I’ll do better at keeping track of the people in the world whom I care about, release the 3.0 version of my SourceForge project and continue to be successful at work. As always, if you haven’t heard from me in a while and you’re wondering if I fell off the planet, I haven’t. I think about all of my (sometimes very extended) group of friends and family a lot more than I let you know. I just don’t always do a very good job letting you know how much I appreciate you being part of my life.
Roll on 2005!