Five and a half* of us met for breakfast today, we would have been more but one cried off due to the pressure of stuff to do (hey it happens to all of us at one time or another) another had a child off school sick, the third has abandoned us permanently by moving back to Alabama and a fourth had to work (can you believe it, work?! Outrageous.)
The food at Villa Landleben was as good as ever, pretty hard to go wrong with a huge buffet spread of bread, croissants, cheeses, hams, fresh fruit, cereals, smoked salmon, fruit juices...although if you want croissant it's best to grab one first of all rather than trying to get one later (as I've learnt from experience)
We had K² with us, two Karen's, either of whom on their own can talk up a storm, so the two together can be overpowering, fortunately they were at either ends of the table and KM was rather subdued due to schooling issues (she blogs too so you can read all about it here) so no-one had to shout in order to be heard. KP was just back from a girlie weekend in Milan (with yet another Karen) it sounded as though she had a great time, the highlights as I recall included Italian men being far more forward than their German counterparts when it comes to flirting (no surprise there) gay and lesbian couples being much more open in their PDAs** and the discovery that most Italians go to McDonalds for their coffee, whether it's better I can't comment but certainly cheaper.
Karen really made us laugh though when she was talking about the restaurants in Milan, she reckons they have a cute waiter tax, an 'I smiled at you tax', bread tax, as well as the obligatory service charge (even when the service is rubbish). For some reason she had an urge for thai duck, quite why she should want to eat thai food when out in Italy I don't know, but she is Scottish , home to Haggish, deep fried Mars bars and Irn Bru...unfortunately for Karen the acoustics combined with her Edinburgh/German twang made KM and I think she'd wanted to be tied down, how she would then eat any thai food at all would then become an issue clearly. It turned out that the Italians didn't understand her either because what she got was a plate of duck in orange sauce as opposed to thai duck, she wasn't happy.
When we weren't talking about the issues we have with the German schooling system (we managed to terrify A, whose eldest is due to start after the summer holidays, but she ought to know better seeing as she's actually married to a German) it's lack of flexibility, the constant desire to fit a round peg into a square hole, the shortness of the actual time spent in school blah blah blah, we chatted about Eurovision. E has foolishly decided to host a Eurovision fest, it started out as our families getting together to indulge in the camp "music" extravaganza that is the annual Eurovision Song Contest, and has somehow morphed into a full on Fest, we're choosing which country to support and therefore must be suitably attired and take country specific food (I baggsied United Kingdom and Engelbert, mainly so that I could wear a crown, but also so that I can take sausage rolls and cheese 'n pineapple on sticks as my country's donation to the buffet. KM, favourite colour black, is taking Azerbaijan in order that she can wind me up by not wearing black***, KP has chosen Germany because she thinks Roman (the singer) is H.O.T & she knows who she can borrow a dirndl off (or was that lederhosen?) and the hostess is tending towards Greece because she thinks the song is perfect Eurotrash. Should be a good evening.
* Laura at the tender age of two only just qualifies as a half
** PDA = Public Display of Affection, i.e snogging in public
*** apparently it's known as as the "land of magic colours"