I had a lovely morning today.
I spent three hours in the company of bookgroup cronies, casually frühstücking in an Essen coffee shop/bar. It was almost over before it started, neither Karen nor I had thought to reserve a table, after all this is just a common or garden cafe in the city centre, what we hadn't realised was that they were offering an all you can eat buffet breakfast for 6.95 euros. All tables bar one were reserved. We were lucky.
The breakfast spread was the usual, fresh fruit salad, croissant, jams, nutella, bread (too many types to count) cold meat, cheese, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, bacon, baked beans (bizarre, normal for a UK cooked breakfast, but for a German one?) and bizarrely chocolate mousse, for breakfast, I didn't partake, there's a time and a place for chocolate mousse and before lunch (imho) isn't it.
The time of day and lack of alcohol didn't seem to have any effect on the conversational subjects or the volume of the conversation (with an outspoken Scot and an uninhibited Yank amongst us that should have been no surprise).
We discussed books - whether it was worth trying to acquire "Life of Pi" before the next bookgroup (I pointed out that it was available as a Kindle book and therefore easily obtainable) the last book we'd read and how it wasn't "very good" and the book that Rebecca is currently reading (Mr Rosenblum's List).
Talked about the pros and cons of vampires and werewolves (as you do), Karen has, over the course of the Twilight franchise been converted from Team Edward (vampire, strong, cold, hard, sparkly in the sun, lives forever) to Team Jacob (werewolf, strong, hairy, smells like a dog, has big sharp teeth and claws, also lives a long time) I said I'd take cold, hard and sparkly any day over hairy, stinky and bite-y, Karen will be hard to shift allegiance.
Fashion awareness of teenage boys was also covered. Ben has managed to get through winter only once or twice being forced to wear his winter jacket, most of the time his dress code is jeans, T-shirt, hoody and skateboard/trainery shoes. Karen's son is exactly the same, except I got the definite impression that there was only 1 T-shirt he would wear and his shoe of choice is the equally unwinter friendly (i.e. thin fabric and not water proof) Converse.
Germans of course were a subject for debate, but this always happens when two or more expats are gathered together, it doesn't matter how long they've lived in Germany, sooner or later they hit the radar. This time it was German to German relationships and how unreasonable it was that a woman wasn't happy with her friend dating her ex (from 17 years before) boyfriend.
On the whole it was a very pleasant mid week interlude, next one in two weeks!