As if New Year’s Eve isn’t depressing enough, I went to see The White Ribbon at my local art-house cinema. It was all part and parcel of my Germanisation process; I thought I might pick up a few handy phrases to sprinkle into my conversations with my house-guest, Herman the German – but all I got was a lot of talk about cabbages, dead sparrows and a very oblique reference to teenage masturbation which, let’s face it, doesn’t pop up in  a lot of conversations. Stylewise, the film was a bit like the 60s horror,  Village of the Damned, (you can see the original trailer on Youtube) but with better hair. Everyone was miserable (especially the dead sparrow)  but then I suppose if you went to bed with your hands tied down to stop you fiddling with yourself, you might be a tad moody of a morning.