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Sunday, 4 April 2010

A great social time with our German friends from Karlsruhe

This last week, apart from one morning where I had to attend a family funeral, was a wonderful time working with the local theatre that I belong to hosting thirty Germans on a cultural exchange with Nottingham's twin city, Karlsruhe. The two groups, the Die Käuze theatre and the Jakobus theatre, brought two plays to perform at our theatre. One was called Die Hochmütigen and the other, Komödie im Dunkeln. Both were very professional offerings in their own right. I am planning to write more in depth in my other blog at about these experiences.

What I want to write about here is the social aspect and how, despite the weather being horrible outside, a shared love of the theatre and warm friendships and great food can make a potentially miserable week weatherwise, a very happy one.

The inside of our theatre bar space

I was drafted in to help organise the catering side of things which all went very well. We had a light lunch provided for the Die Käuze  group's arrival on Sunday lunch as well as a welcome tea or coffee. On Monday the other group arrived late in the morning and we all enjoyed some delicious shared food around one o'clock. On both arrival evenings each member of their casts would have been given a nice meal at their English hosts' house and made to feel very welcomed.

Throughout the week we enjoyed a chilli con carne and a lamb tagine with peppers and couscous and a wonderful chorizo and tender beef stew as well as the meals that the Germans went out for in the city of Nottingham. On the last night I saved the day by getting a table for twenty plus at  Nottingham's premier South Indian Kerali restuarant on Broad Street late on night after the last performance of Komödie im Dunkeln. It was only half past nine and everywhere else seemed to be shutting. My friend Alison told me that the Karlsruhe group told her that they really liked our Indian restuarants as they haven't got much like it at home.

On the Friday of the visit it is traditional that we all go in a coach for a visit to somewhere nice. This time we went to Woolsthorpe Manor, the birthplace of Issac Newton, near Grantham. This was a National Trust property and actually really interesting to look around and learn about the scientist and his discoveries. I particularly liked the house and the kitchens and had thoughts about finding out whether there was such a thing as a history of food and drink museum.

Straight after this we had a tea break at the NT venue and went into Stamford on the coach and enjoyed a light lunch together. There were about fifty people for this occasion and our theatre had organised a pleasant meal at a hotel where the options were a chicken based dish or red mullet plus a dessert of sticky chocolate pudding or a slice of lemon cake.

red mullet dish

Sticky toffee pudding with chocolate sauce.

Throughout the week there was plenty of drinking done at the theatre bar and also at the Trip to Jerusalem amongst others and despite the almost constant cold and rain we all enjoyed a good laugh with our German friends and we even invented a new language called Denglish, a combination of German (Deutsch) and English which made everyone giggle. Sorry, that's 'everyone zu lachen gemacht'.

sharing a joke about the wet weather

On the Friday night we had a farewell party with presentations and lovely food. It was all very convivial and on the Saturday morning we saw both groups off back home to Germany. I confess to getting a bit weepy as I always love these occasions and never want them to end.


Gail's Man said...

Sounds like you had a good week. Being unemployed can have its benefits.

Marian Barker said...

Great ..... I'm glad you had a lovely time.

ps I could just eat a roast beef wrap!

Phil Lowe said...

We did Gail's Man. Even if was employed I would have taken the week off work to be around.

Marian: It was fun and yes, a beef wrap would be lovely and its only 10.30am as I write.

French Fancy said...

Oh I'm so glad it all went well - I knew it would. Sorry about the funeral though - hope it was not too upsetting for you.

Phil Lowe said...

Thanks French Fancy - it was a lovely week and I miss all my German friends very much.