Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year, Renier

Happy New Year Betties, wherever you are! The Great Betty certainly had a fondness for a good Dutch New Year's celebration and this one in 'Winter Wedding'--when he loves her and she is sick with love for him and no one is saying anything--is one of my favorites:

...when it was discovered that she danced like a dream, there was no lack of partners. It was almost midnight when Renier swept her away from Franz with the remark that it was his turn to dance with her, "If," he added, "you can bear to dance something as old-fashioned as a waltz."
Speechless, Emily nodded. Her carefully arranged hair had come a little loose and her cheeks were flushed and she had to crane her neck to see his face. He danced well, and she--she floated round on air, loving every second, wanting it to go on for ever.
Actually, it was only a few minutes before the band stopped playing so that everyone could hear the great clock in the hall chime midnight, and at its last stroke there was a sudden burst of good wishes and kissing while Hans and Bep and the maids wove their way around with more champagne.
Emily drank her toast at the last stroke and said in a quiet little voice: "A Happy New Year, Renier."
He bent and kissed her cheek: "And to you, Emily." He smiled as he said it and the next moment was engulfed in a wave of singing, laughing guests. Emily, caught up between two elderly gentlemen she had never seen before, lost sight of him altogether.

Casa van Voorhees will be quietly celebrating this year with a large platter-ful of empanadas and cranberry Sprite to toast at 9 or 10 depending on when we want to put the little Pledges to bed. Any memorable New Year's celebrations or traditions of your own to share?


  1. It is a bizarre habit that I picked up from my neighbors of the past 20 years--the banging of pots and pans on the front porch to chase away bad luck and evil spirits. From my front lawn, I can see fireworks at the local stadium to the east and the First Night celebration in the city to the west. If I'm at home instead of participating in one or the other, I get to see both.

  2. My neighbors save up all their left-over fireworks from the 4th of July and light them off (usually at midnight which everyone gets a kick out of but this year there are 4 small grandbabies so they went off closer to 7).

  3. Lovely quote, Betty Keira! We sat at home watching a Family Guy marathon on TV and drinking Advocaat!

  4. When the New Year arrived, I was reading in bed - A Light in the Window by Jan Karon - whilst my RDD, 2 dogs and 3 cats snored gently beside me.

  5. My husband ended up driving across town to pick up our oldest from a church dance so when midnight came I was in bed, typing away at my computer. I got up because the fireworks were really something in our neighborhood this year and found our daughter downstairs with a glass of Sprite. We toasted and watched the explosions and I said, "This is the year you turn 14." and she said, even though it doesn't happen until November, "I want a typewriter for my birthday. They're cool." So I had a nice lovely time.

  6. Hi Bettys! This is Betty Meetu from India:). Been following your amazing amazing blog forever, but rather silently ;) Forgive me for going off-track on this post but felt super-compelled to share some recent development about our Great Betty ‘s works:
    Most of you dedicated Bettys may already know about this, but I couldn’t help sharing that I just got to know that the great Betty Neels’ work, is now adapted as a Harlequin comic book illustrated in Manga!! Whoa!
    Shook me up a bit though, because I have been dearly wishing that someone should have taken up Betty’s work and either illustrated it the classic way or made a movie adaptation keeping close to her descriptions. I mean it would be simply awesome to actually see a visual of say Leonora planning a dinner party with a paltry sum in hand in ‘The daughter of the Manor’, and innumerable other favorite scenarios…but this development was not thought of! Wow…Manga! This is something to watch, because all the classic lovely British/Dutch lifestyle told by dear Betty has been adapted in the Manga world! I went through preview pages and found that the characters and storyline might be kept the original way throughout, but the language is certainly today’s! Not sure how many titles of Betty Neels have been adapted, but did catch a whole lot of other harlequin authors as well…
    Now that the surprise has settled a bit, I think I might be interested in grabbing one for a read soon.. probably out of curiosity for all things Betty!.
    Extremely keen to know, what do you all you Betty gals think of this adaptation?
    Catch a peek of the books on:
    or simply search : ’harlequin comics betty neels’

    1. Welcome back, Betty Meetu! (Unless you're a different one. There was one who commented once or twice a few years back.) My BiL sent me one of the mangas four or five years ago, and I shared the pix with Betty Debbie, who posted them here.

      I think some of the earlier Betties, with their period-piece 1960s nursing uniforms and some drama like finishing a tricky operation while the ceiling catches fire, or working through the op while suffering appendicitis, would find a market as movies or multi-part TV shows, especially given the recent success of Call the Midwife on BBC and BBC America. BBC wouldn't touch a Betty, though, I'll bet; not highbrow enough. Hmph. Like Downton Abbey is anything but high-budget soap opera.

    2. Hi, Betty Meetu! I have one Betty Neels manga in print which turned out to be a great disappointment, but ONLY BY CHANCE is a great adaption!