Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's a wine group, with a book problem

First Friday of the month was last night.

And that means book group - or as S described it last night 'we're more of a wine group with a book problem.

The usual suspects were there, although not everyone had read the book,
me, had read it & enjoyed it
S1, up to about page 150
L, not even attempted it
K, read it & declared it to be holiday reading
N, is waiting for it to turn up from Amazon (the only reliable source of English books here in Germany)
E, only just started it
S2, up to about page 100

The book in question was Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The first of the Millenium trilogy from the Scandinavian author who inconveniently died shortly after producing this series of 3 crime novels. I enjoyed both the 1st and 2nd of the series (haven't got hold of the 3rd yet) finding them to be unputdownable (much to Simon's disgust, he still (after 20 years of marriage) doesn't realise that I read because I love it not because I'm bored).

Unsurprisingly the book was discussed for about 2 minutes, partly due to the fact that only 2 of us had finished it (and it would be unsporting to let on about what happens) we had a longer discussion about the author and a good reminisce about books we've read previously, whether we'd finished them and whether we'd liked them...We also had a debate about what to read next before settling on 'the Monk who Sold his Ferrari' Kamesh's suggestion...we'll see (Simon's opinion is that 'the monk who bought a ferrari' might be a more interesting read)

Other topics last night were;
- Karneval, the German obsession with organised fun,
- whether it would be a bad idea to go to an 'over 30's' party night (L would have to lie about her age as she's the baby of the group) because we'd like to think that the music would be from the 80's and therefore fun to dance to,
- which led us onto our guilty music secrets, the biggest shock was that K was a (and still is) classical music buff back then and so wasn't into the pop scene at all, cue horrified gasps all round, this somehow segued into me and S2 giving a rendition of Toni Basil's 'oh Mickey'
which was shortly followed by a group attempt of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody', we were quite rowdy last night...lots of indignant stares and tutting from the more sober (in both senses of the word) Germans...
- L and S2 tried to outdo each other with who's been to the most Africa-y part of Africa, S2 had to concede that with Sierra Leone L won.
- a discussion of the differences in language between America, Australia and England, despite them all speaking English - the word 'sledging' for example, describes a mode of transport in the snow to the Brits but to Ossies it's the slagging off of your opponent in cricket & the yanks don't know the word at all
- the anti-mobbing training my son underwent this week which succeeded only in teaching him 2 new swear words, and the similiar 'training' K's son's class got, which sounded much better.
- the Düsseldorf bookgroup where N is also a member, they read some of the same books that we do and were asking N which group was the nicer, we're toying with the idea of having a picnic meetup of the 2 groups in the summer
- where to get a good martini, we suggested Lulu's because there they would actually be happy to make it exactly as you wanted (S2 has had some bad martini experiences here in Germany)

At some point in the evening (after the 2 bursts of song) a woman approached us tentatively (she deserves a medal for braving our raucous table at all) and said she'd heard we were an English book group (she must have overheard the (very) loud English being spoken and asked the owner about us - we're at the black cat every month so he's used to us & enjoys practising his
English on us) She wanted to know if there were any special requirements to joining, to which of course the answer was no, just a liking for red wine, you don't even need to have read the book we said, so she went off and grabbed her drink and abandoned whoever she was with to come and join us...

4 hours and 5 bottles of red wine later we left the warmth of the bar to go home, to find snow settling quite seriously on the ground, great, just when we thought spring was around the corner!

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