Tuesday, August 17, 2010


My brother Ed has been with us over the weekend, picked him up on Thursday afternoon and dropped him off Monday lunchtime.

Ed works in oil in Libya and wanted a weekend of civilization, his list of requirements were easily met:

- sports shop
- supermarket
- open water swimming
- beer

His plane was over 2 hours late which was irritating and also meant that he had to wait in a bar for us to get to pick him up as we had a prior arrangement for that time, Ed didn't mind at all, what with Libya being a dry country he was more than happy to have the chance to try out his (non-existant) German in a bar buying a large beer.

Thursday night was expats-martini-meetup and this month there was a great turnout, 9 of us in total, Ed (or Bob as he likes to be known when drinking is involved, "doesn't everyone have a drinking name?" he asked us, from the blanks looks that met this question I'm guessing no...) stuck to beer, sampling the different varieties that were on offer while I stuck to black martinis (made black by the black sambuca that's part of the mix, yum)
Rebecca from bookgroup (this is BIG Rebecca ('cos she's about 7 foot tall) as opposed to (normal) Rebecca) was there and so poor Bob-ed got her full interrogation, we've witnessed this once before, when Kamesh first came to bookgroup, it's very entertaining, I reckon in a past life she was a professional interrogator, maybe she still is, in theory she's in 'publishing' but she works from home so maybe she does a bit of freelance interrogation on the side...all she lacks is the spotlight & the matchsticks, I shall have to ask her next time I see her if she found out anything interesting...

The only other thing I can remember from Thursday evening (and that's purely due to the fact that I'm typing this days after the event & my memory is rubbish & not due to the quantity of alcohol consumed, honest guv) was that Kamesh (Indian) and Dawn (American) had a disagreement about how Kamesh can possibly like Vietnam, I have a feeling Kamesh might have mocked (slightly) the outcome of the Vietnam war to Dawn, something along the lines of "but they're such little people..."

Friday morning and I'd promised I'd go for a run with Ed, not pleasant, as am slightly out of practice and was maybe just a smidge hungover, but I survived. After that Jas and I took him shopping, well we took him to the 4 storey sports store in town and left him to it!

Friday evening is always 'film friday' in our house, which means pizza and a film the whole family can enjoy together, which is trickier than it sounds as Ben's tastes run to the blow 'em up/shoot 'em down and Jas doesn't like to be scared...Ed further complicated things by insisting on either a scarey movie or a talking animals (but not Kung Fu Panda) movie...matters were simplified by Jas inviting herself to a friend's overnight and so we watched 'Shooter' with Matt Damon, a great action film, but no talking animals.

Saturday, Ed was keen to go for another run but I refused and in the end he went 'male-bonding' with Si around various DIY shops on the hunt for the perfect torque wrench, I guess it's a man thing.
The afternoon was spent at a small lake popular in the area with naturists (not to be mistaken with the David Attenborough style naturalist) Ed wanted to swim in open water and apparently you're not supposed to swim in the Ruhr (our local river) but Angermund is a different matter, despite the signs telling us that bathing is forbidden and that there are strong currents (can't image how seeing as it's a flooded quarry) deep water (well, duh, it's a flooded quarry) and the water is cold (gosh no, really?) there were plenty of heads bobbing around, which were, according to Ed, attached to naked bodies. So while Ed swam round the lake, trying not to be too distracted by the white bottoms on all shores, we 4 (3 people, 1 dog) stood in the sun on the shore and tried to encourage Logan to swim - we'd have had more success if we'd each taken a leg and thrown him in!

In the evening we went out for a delicious curry, the highlights of the evening were an unnaturally tall man in the restaurant who was wearing ridiculously short shorts (although on a normal sized person they were probably full length trousers) Jas getting locked in the ladies' toilets and having to be rescued and a yellow Lamborghini Murcielago drawing up alongside us at the traffic lights in the middle of Düsseldorf and it roaring away only to get stuck at the next red light, and the next.

Sunday and the weather broke as forecast, fortunately it waited until after I'd walked the dog and it didn't bother the others at all as they went swimming.

Monday we said we'd go for a last run together, bright and early, but only as long as it wasn't raining, Ed said he didn't want to travel with wet gear (feeble excuse if you ask me) whilst I just don't enjoy getting wet. Unfortunately the bad weather cleared overnight so at 730 I had to drag my weary bones 5.5km along the river, Logan was equally unimpressed.
Ed then had one last chance of civilized shopping and he went and terrorised the Rewe deli counter staff by leaning all the way over the glass counter to point out which cheese he wanted (they don't like people leaning over their glass counters, god forbid you should spread your germs over the fresh food that the flies are walking all over)

So now I'm guestless again, until maybe, just maybe, Simon's sister comes to visit in December and then of course there's the craziness that is the 2 week Christmas/New Year break and all those guests, and I feel curiously bereft, I think I need a hug.

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