Back in Oz, the night before the first day of the New Year is called New Year’s Eve – sounds logical doesn’t it? In Austria, it’s called Silvester – the name originally coming from the fourth century Pope Sylvester I, whose feast day is observed on December 31.
You can wish someone a Happy New Year in Austria – you just say: Gutes Neues Jahr. This is perfectly acceptable, but is generally only said once the New Year has begun. Because in the days leading up to it, if you catch up with someone you won’t see until after Silvester, the correct thing to say is to wish them a good slide into the New Year: Guten Rutsch! It literally translates to: Good slide
It’s kind of cute, it’s kind of wacky, but I like it, so I hereby wish you a good slide into the New Year. Have a good one.
There are moments in our lives where we feel like rock stars. When I was in kindergarten I took a newborn lamb for show-and-tell one day. My uncle owns a farm and in lambing season sometimes we’d get a few abandoned little-uns to take home and bottle feed until they were plump and ready to survive on their own. On that day, at age 4, I was a rock star.
I began dance classes a year later, and in my early to mid-20s I was still attending the same dance school. This dance school perfectly suited my ‘average’ dancing abilities. Unfortunately it’s not natural talent, but mechanical learning that means I have any rhythm as an adult. It wasn’t a terrible dancing school, it just wasn’t where professional dancers got their start. But that place was where I grew up. I loved the dancing. Sure, there were some not so fun parts: exams could be excruciatingly nerve racking, ditto the concerts where everyone was watching (though in reality, it was probably just my mum).
When lockdown first hit back in March, I really didn’t care much. I was very happy not to have to drive two hours to the office and back, and not having to think about what I was going to wear or making myself look office-presentable just saved me time and hassle. I was well used to working from home anyway – with 90% of my meetings held online with colleagues from the UK – it was common that I stayed home a day or so each week pre-Covid.
Those first few months felt a little surreal, and I relished the extra time I had – I could pick and choose my routine – I wasn’t forced to do my run first thing before going to work, for example, I could add that into my lunchtime and start work a bit earlier.
In October I went through my wardrobe and undertook the usual summer-to-winter swap of clothes. I pulled out all my big coats from the cellar and I re-discovered fur-lined boots and fluffy jumpers. And as I was moving the rest – skirts and dresses and sandals – out to make room for the new, I realised for the first time how much of an impact Covid had had on my wardrobe. I managed to go to the office about five times between lockdowns one and two, which meant that there was an outstanding amount of clothing that hadn’t seen the light of day this year. The spotty black dress that I love to wear? Hadn’t touched it. The myriad of work specific tops that I pull out when I wanted to dress smart? All but forgotten.
The Australian National Dictionary Centre recently announced ‘iso’ as the word of the year for 2020.
And hasn’t it been quite a year? Yet despite all the downright annoying, draining, challenging times we’ve been through, we have come up with some pretty cool words to take the heaviness off the situation. Not to make light of it, but to lighten us up.
There are plenty you would have already heard of like iso-baking, Corona-cut, Cov-exit, Coronacoaster, Covid-normal, but with every day that passes it seems that more pop into the language. Here’s my take on some of the ones you already know, and some of the ones that I’ve found popping out of my mouth.