Monday, December 6, 2010

Doing a Desmond

That'll be a reference not to Desmond Tutu but to Desmond Morris, whose books on animal behaviour were much read throughout my Zoology degree course, specifically The Naked Ape & Manwatching, except in my case this was Germanwatching (not naked German - shudder).

I've had a busy weekend, bookgroup on Friday evening (I might recount that tale later in the week - as & when I remember it...what can I say, but much much red wine was drunk) then Saturday we went and got the Christmas tree (as you will already know if you checked out the latest Sunday Snap) and Sunday afternoon was our little Christmas Cocktail shindig, so much to prepare and on top of that it decided to snow - all day Saturday and then with serious intent, all day Sunday - nasty English, wet 'n heavy snow it was too, 2-3 inches of the damned stuff, that has since frozen, nice.

Back to the Germanwatching and new words to describe the natives:

- Organised. The Christmas tree place just a 5 minute drive from us was crazy busy on Saturday, we'd thought to grab lunch there, no chance. Got a good tree though, after walking through driving snow in sub zero temperatures to the far end of the field as we dismissed tree after tree as being 'too tall', 'too wonky', 'too dead', 'too small' and so on. Fortunately, pine is nice and soft and a tree just over 6ft tall doesn't have too thick a trunk so it didn't take Si too long to saw through it.
As I said, this place was heaving with natives, all buying their trees and carting them away. But why were they buying them in the 1st week of December when the tradition here is to put up the tree on Christmas Eve (needless to say this is why our tree is up early - standing proudly in the front window for all those passers by looking up and staring through the windows (that'll be everyone walking past then) to see and think to themselves 'bloody Ausländers*') I put this question to my tame German today (that'll be Muna my German teacher) and she says that everyone buys their trees early ('cos if you leave it too late then all the good ones are gone...well that's a self-fulfilling thingy then) and then they leave them outside in the garden until December 24th - this would be presuming that none of these early buyers have male dogs then.

- Black; the colour to wear. I know it's flattering to almost everyone (except those with a certain skin tone anyway, eh Rebecca?) makes you look chic, everything matches and it makes you look slimmer/taller etc. But when everyone decides to wear black it's like being at a funeral, dull, dull, dull, and no longer a fashion statement surely, more of a uniform. I'd have worn red to my party if I could have found anything in that colour in the shops here, went with a jade-y green frock instead and impossibly (for me) high heels, which my feet were relieved to be out of when the last (of the black clad) guests left!

- Teetotal; well they might as well be. Pretty much everyone who came on Sunday lives close enough that they were able to walk here, they even pointed this out to me (especially my neighbour) as I served them their first glass of mulled wine. But after 2 glasses they pretty much all started raiding the fridge, for all the wrong reasons, they were after a party...when they're walking home.
What's that all about then?
It's just a good job I'd made 2 different alcoholic beverages, 1 a mulled wine and the other a cranberry punch (the punch being the fact that the cranberry juice was diluted with cassis) because this meant that most people were keen to try both before switching to water. Imagine if I'd only made the mulled wine! Next year I'll have to have 3 concoctions to offer!

- Overprepared; this morning Si had to be at the airport at 8.45, it's a 20 minute drive in decent weather if it's not a Monday morning, otherwise maybe 60 minutes. Si's lift turned up at 7.10, Si was still in the shower, not packed & certainly not dressed...but his colleague was keen to point out that there was thick snow on the ground and long staus** on the autobahn. I don't think he was too impressed to be kept from his steering wheel while I had to entertain him (desperately needing to get into the shower so that I could get Jas to school) for the 10 minutes or so before Si was ready.

- Lunacy; 'Wetten Dass' is a godawful show (imho) on German tv which everyone here watches, it is the most watched show in Europe apparently and the guy who compères it makes a hugely sucessful living out of it, so much so that he no longer lives here amongst us mortals but in Malibu amongst the stars...Saturday was possibly one bet too far, the 23 year old Samuel Kochs bet that he could somersault over 4 (or was it 5?) moving cars using springy strap on thingies. He managed the 1st, passed the 2nd and then didn't get enough height to clear the 3rd properly,
he's in hospital now having undergone emergency surgery and we wait to see whether he can walk again, let alone jump or somersault over cars.

* Ausländers = foreigners
** Staus = traffic jams

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