Before I head out for New Zealand this evening I wanted to share some magical scenes from a Norweigan Holiday Party held by our architects, Russ and Wencke.
It's not often that people have the energy and consistency to hold the same party year after year and that's why it's wonderful to be invited to Russ and Wencke's annual Viking knees up. As our social psychologist friend once told us: it's important and human to mark all the milestones in your lives. You've probably realised that Kevin and I are pretty unsentimental with the result that birthdays, anniversaries, even holidays roll by without recognition. It's reassuring to know we have this one party every year with the same gorgeously festive traditions, food and decorations.
Russ and Wencke (pictured below on their wedding day) were such great people to work with over the 12 months re-modelling our house and after it was completed two summers ago, I missed not seeing them. In contrast to our own very modern house, their home is Nordically layered, warm and cosy and yet eclectic, pairing sculptural plastic chairs and farmhouse tables. They can design in any style always drawing from the personality of the homeowner, which is not something every architect has the ability to do. I love how in her own home Wencke, who is from a small seaside town in Norway, has collections of old photos, collections of fans and decanters and family heirlooms like baby shoes.
The entire Saint Lucia evening is a small glimpse into Wencke's tiny village, with carolling, tiny meatballs, Glogg (spicy warm red wine with raisins and almonds) and tiny donuts with real cream.
At the end of the evening is the most moving parade of young girls. Traditionally, at the crack of dawn the youngest daughter from each household wears a white robe with a sash and a crown of evergreens and tall lighted candles. The custom goes back to the Christian virgin Lucia who was martyred for her beliefs in Syracuse in the 4th Century. It is also a thanksgiving for the return of the sun.
God Jul and Skol!