Thursday, December 20, 2012


The word überfeiert doesn't exist (I just checked) but as Germans seem to be able to invent new words just by sticking old ones together I thought I'd go native.

Über means over and feiern means to celebrate, therefore in my head, if you've partied too long and too hard surely you've überfeiert, although if we're moving into the past tense then it should probably be übergefeiert...

All this leads me to the hectic social whirl that is my life, now it's nothing when compared to the Z listers that come staggering along to the opening of new shop/play/bar/envelope but it is December and the season for for donning of party shoes of pretty dresses (unless you live in Germany that is, where going out in your ratty old jeans will do).

Four parties and one dinner in a two week period, too much? I'm just glad I no longer have to pay for a babysitter every time we go out (seeing as no. 1 son is old enough to be employed by others for babysitting duty, he has to look after no. 1 daugter for free)

It started with our Christmas Cocktails, a late Saturday afternoon social gathering of friends, we plied them with Hugos* and cranberry punch and lots of yummy nibbles - including Emma's awesome Christmas pud cake pops - I'm still trying to remove the remains of one that some child managed to mash into the carpet in the games room, in retrospect I should have sent the dog in to lick it off, it would have kept him busy for hours! This was the third time we've done this cocktail party and every year it gets a bit longer as people realise that we're not going to send them packing and that I can always bring up more fizz from the secret stash in the cellar, 13 bottles this year, great result!

The Friday after we had tickets to the British Businessmen's Club Christmas party, the invite said cocktail attire/lounge suits or smart fancy dress in the black and red theme, that was the only mistake in my book, you should never, ever, specify black as a dress option here in Germany, for most women here black seems to be the default fashion setting, always chic, never out of date - but when everyone in the room wears it then it no longer looks like a celebration, but more like a wake. Fortunately at the BBC do the black was sufficiently broken up by red, although there were a couple of people who really should read Debrett's for an idea of what exactly constitutes 'cocktail dress'. The food at the party was perfect, pumpkin soup then the full roast turkey and then proper English Christmas pud, we were in heaven, add to this the fact that there were real Christmas crackers on the table** - a great night out, although I did have very sore feet the following day (from the wearing of silly heels all evening) and a nonexistant voice (from the shouting over the band and the singing along to the band).

The following day we had "Carols at the Cork's". The Corks are Australian friends of ours (she's a music teacher and he's an opera singer) who have done this seasonal singing session for the last four years or so but this was to be the last one, because in January they're moving back to Oz. Next December and the run up to Christmas will be weird without our chance to get together to sing English carols. It was a very relaxed evening as ever, the kitchen got overrun by the drinkers and nonsingers, the living room was full of food and music***. I didn't sing as much as I have done in previous years owing to the ropey voice and I was trying to take photos. Sunday was a very quiet day.

Last night we girlies were out for dinner to celebrate a friend's birthday, not a very late or very drunken night, although I think we might have drunk them out of prosecco.

Tomorrow is the last party before Christmas, it's another annual event, the Feuerzangenbowle at the Maduschke's. If I remember correctly from last year there's a large bowl of hot wintery punch type alcohol, over which a metal spoon thing is placed with a large cone of sugar on it. Rum is poured over the sugar and ignited, and eventually we get to drink the resulting concoction. Of course there will be food and other drinks and lots and lots of chat as per all parties, Christmas is good for that don't you think?

Then we have a lull before New Year's eve, but more of that party planning another time!

* a cocktail consisting of fizzy wine and elderflower cordial and crushed mint (there should be fizzy water in there too, but we just show it the bottle)
** not something that you can usually buy in Germany, and certainly not a staple on their Christmas dinner table.
*** possibly not the perfect combination, but it always works.

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