Last night was the monthly Expats meetup at Lulu's, some months there can be just the 4 diehards of me, Rebecca, Ian and Kamesh and it's also possible for the bar itself to be pretty empty, afterall it is on a Thursday with the probability of an early rise the following day for most people, and then there nights like yesterday.
As well as the loud group of 9 Expats clustered at the bar (makes the flow of the evening so much smoother when you don't have leave the conversational group in order to get another drink!) there was also a long table behind us of parents and staff from the kindergarten that Rebecca uses for her youngest, and they were keen to compete with us 'foreigners' for the noisiest group trophy.
The evening started well, with a black martini* for me, and Ian and I claiming our prizes from the Christmas bauble draw (well, I say claiming 'our' prizes, that's not quite true, the prize I was claiming was the bauble won by my brother, he's won Sunday breakfast at the bar, shame he's a 3 hour flight away eh?).
It was a good evening as ever and I was even home at a respectable time (11pm), we stayed long enough to make sure we outlasted the kindergarten group (the majority of whom were probably drinking fruit tea or water) afterall we have an image to protect!
Now I shall try to rack my brain to see if I can remember what we talked about....
- the Royal Wedding, we're planning 'a bit of a do' here, featuring dusk till dawn TV coverage and accompanying bitching, bucks fizz & champagne (well what else does one drink at a wedding?) wedding cake (construction of which has already commenced) and of course the wearing of wedding hats is de rigueur - not only that it has to be a 'self made' hat. The house will be completely decked out with bunting and flags and we might allow the men folk to join us later (after they get off work (after all it wont be a bank holiday here)) so that they can bbq for us...
- the Rocky Horror Show is coming to Essen in October and what's more it's here the week of Emma & my birthdays so we're going to go, but it has to be done properly and that means dressing up - which piqued the boys interest, when the words stockings and suspenders were mentioned. Funnily enough they don't want to come along, neither have the legs to carry off fishnets apparently!
- squash, Ian and Kamesh were fresh from the squash court, where Kamesh has yet to beat Ian, who says that all he has to do is stand in the centre of the court while Kamesh charges around and keeps hitting the ball straight back at him. Ian tried to challenge me to squash but I dodged that one, blaming first a lack of depth perception (didn't wash as Ian says he also has none) then my bad knee**. I think I've got away with it for the moment but I can guarantee it's one of those subjects that will raise its ugly head again.
- Chrismas presents, who got what and who gave what. Rachel said her worst present was a glass angel that she looked at and wondered immediately who she could re-present it on to! I have to confess that this year the ugly present fairy passed me by.
- discussion about what makes a cocktail a martini, is it just the fact that it's served in a martini glass? Or is it the proportions of each spirit? Afterall the traditional martini is vodka and vermouth, but the cocktail list at Lulu's has everything from a chocolate martini to a fuzzy martini, there's even a virgin martin with no alcohol in it (shudder).
And that was just another night at Expats, here's to the next one!
* vodka and black sambuca I'm told
** hurt between Christmas and New Year, I had a bottle of red wine*** in each hand and fell up the wooden stairs from the cellar, smacked my knee cap right into the step. It swelled up and has bruised nicely, is back to its normal size now but not its normal functionality - it didn't enjoy Wednesday's step class much, nor parts of the pilates class, haven't tried running again yet.
*** importantly I managed not to break either bottle!