On birds, bees and an underdressed first date

Mid April

A couple of weeks ago, I took some friends on an exploratory trip around my part of the world.

F pointed out an advert for “cinema night” on the notice board of one of my local churches. They were going to show a children’s film, followed by a film called “More than honey”. None of us had heard of it, so I made a mental note of the date and decided to look the film up online when we got back.


It’s a film about bees, or more accurately about the role and treatment of bees around the world. It was produced by the people who made ‘We feed the world”, a film I watched several years ago. I can’t exactly say I enjoyed watching it, but I was glad that I did.

This one sounded like a watchable film too.


I asked H if he wanted to come with me. It was something we might have done anyway, but we decided, semi-jokingly to call it a first date. It also meant we could go in his car ;).

When we got there the church was not only dark, but also locked.


After much puzzlement, lots of wandering around looking lost and a more careful study of the advert, we discovered that the church displaying the notice wasn’t the church showing the film. Google maps wasn’t particularly helpful, as it reckoned the film-church was in the same place as the notice-church. It took quite a lot of sleuthing powers to find out where the film-church actually was, by which time we’d missed a considerable amount of the film. The film-church was several km away, so getting there would have gobbled up even more of the film time.

Ever practical, and quite a lot pragmatic, H suggested we skip the film and go out for dinner instead. He knew of a restaurant close by where he’s eaten with his work colleagues before. And besides, going to the cinema is an overrated idea for a first date anyway..

When we got there I almost bailed.

It was a very posh-looking place. The sort with a french name and cloth serviettes. It turns out that “eaten there with my work colleagues” actually translates to “my boss takes us there to celebrate finished projects”.

I don’t eat out much, and almost never anywhere fancy, so I’m almost always out of my depth when I do. On the occasions when it is required of me, I like to have some forewarning and a chance to pretend that dress like I know what I’m doing. My going-to-the-cinema-in-a-church-hall clothes do not match my idea of going-to-posh-restaurants clothes. H laughed at me when I told him I wasn’t appropriately dressed to eat there and said he didn’t care, and also that one of his colleagues has been known to eat there with his hair still full of swarf. I could hardly compete with steel toe caps and swarf so I shut up and we went in.

Confronted with a menu full of words I never heard in school french lessons I almost bailed for the second time.

In the end I chose something more or less at random. My French is obviously worse than I thought it was because what arrived bore very little resemblance to what I thought I ordered. In fact, the only thing both dishes had in common was the chicken. If I’d still had a menu I would have checked, but they’d taken them away and I wasn’t sure enough to say anything without “proof” and it was entirely likely that I’d pointed to the wrong thing when it was my turn to order.

As I ate my spinach and hoped it would make me strong, I wondered how I always end up in such odd situations.


H was wonderful company, the food was good (if unexpected) and no-one said anything about my attire or tried to make me leave (which is admittedly obvious to most people, but still a realistic if irrational fear in my head). And a good time was had by all even if it was a shame we didn’t get to see the film. I think I will try to borrow it from the library

On winning and losing

I used to cook a lot. When I lived in a shared house I often cooked for everyone. When I lived by myself I lost some of my motivation, but when i cooked, it was with increased creativity and of a more experimental nature.

Then I moved here.

The DB is more a traditional than experimental eater.

I don’t really cook anymore. We eat a lot of bread with cheese and salami, like respectable Germans are supposed to, and we get invited to DB’s parents’ once or twice a week. None of them are into ‘foreign food’ (apart from Chinese duck).

On Saturday, the DB painted the part of the boat that would be under water if it wasn’t on a trailer. I was put in charge of 2 frozen pizzas.

Once upon a time I made my own pizzas, these days I don’t bother. I don’t get home early enough for the dough to rise before DB starves, and he’s not convinced that they’re any better. Ho hum.

So anyway, there I was with the task of ‘cooking’ 2 frozen pizzas.

I turned the oven on, got the pizzas out of the freezer, unwrapped them, placed them carefully onto 2 baking trays and slid them into the oven remembering to set and check the timer.

I went to sort the freezers out, going back and forth between kitchen and garage. After a while DB said I ought to check on the pizzas. The timer hadn’t done it’s thing yet, but in I went to check.

It was a good thing I did. Smoke was billowing out of creeping round the sides of the oven door.

The pizzas looked fine.

I looked closer and figured out the bottom of one was burnt, although the top wasn’t even nearly ready.

I rescued the burnt pizza and went to tell the DB that his oven sucks.

He looked up at me from beneath the boat and said I’d probably set it wrong.

Gee thanks, as if there were multiple options for turning an oven on!

I went back inside and studied the oven. Apparently you can either set the oven to a specific heat, or choose where the heat comes from. I played with the dials a bit, put the pizzas back in the oven and promptly burned the top of the previously unscathed pizza. I swapped them round and waited until the second one had reached a suitable degree of bubbly and took both of them out.

I tried scraping some of the burn off the bottom of the pizza, but called it quits when the topping fell off.

I chopped them both up, and arranged the pieces on 2 plates, trying to ensure DB got not only the least burnt pieces, but also the least uncooked, and summoned the good man.

He was very polite, considering.

Afterwards, he suggested we go out for dinner. Even offering to invite his parents to try the local Indian restaurant with us…….