Thursday, 13 June 2013

A Smashing Time!

Last weekend saw us in a flurry of social engagements - so much so that I had to (very reluctantly) miss Bookgroup (sorry Ladies!) Mr EE had been in the States all week, flew back Friday and that evening we'd been invited by our next-door-but-one neighbours to celebrate the forthcoming marriage of their son at a Polterabend.

Before the Storm
These neighbours love to throw a party - we frequently have cars parked all along the street for their events - every Christmas they invite the whole street (and half the surrounding streets!) to a Weihnachtsmarkt they hold in their garden.  Anyway, I  digress a little, so the week before the Polterabend, we have a knock on the door and are informally invited to the shindig, are given a huge bar of chocolate for the Kindling and are asked if we mind if they close off half the street for the evening. No problem we say.....

Well, the day of the party dawns and as I'm doing the morning school run notice that they've hired in Dixi-Klo (Portaloos) which gets me thinking about just how big this party might be!  Then, when I come back after shopping, the beerwaggon is there - you know a full on pumps and all type job..... When we're back finally from the to-ing and fro-ing of school and husband collection, there are balloons showing the way from the edge of the village, the sawhorses are out and the road is blocked and a merry gathering is beginning to form.

At this point, we're still not quite sure what a Polterabend actually is - I was under the impression it was some sort of Stag-Do type affair - but it's not really that.

As we're getting ready to join in the fun, we start to hear the sound of smashing plates - followed by lots of whooping and clapping - okaaaay we say - what on earth  is going on.  So, it turns out that the main idea behind a Polterabend is the smashing of porcelain to bring the happy couple luck in their marriage.  Everyone is supposed to turn up with china to smash which after it has been broken the Bride and Groom must sweep up together to symbolise working as a team in the marriage.
Smashed Plates in front of padlocked skip

We noticed that the skip they were tidying into was padlocked shut when they weren't sweeping up - we assumed that this was something to do with the regulations about what was allowed to be put into it.....well it is  Germany!  But no, on asking it's because there is a tendency as the night goes on for the more jovial revellers to try to empty it out again - therefore making the wedding pair clean up again.... oh it's all good clean fun!

So, beer (and Aperol Spritz) flowing nicely, Bratwurst on the grill, Ice cream in a mini-freezer hired in from the local Eis CafĂ©, live music and lots of very friendly folk - we had a smashing time! 
L & I dancing to the band!

The weekend continued on Saturday (as weekends tend to do...) with a trip to the Variety theatre GOP with fellow Expat friends, Kettwigefrau and her husband.  We were taking advantage of some birthday and long-service pressies and had a fabulous night out which started off with a ride around Essen (oh the glamour!) in a stretched Limousine.... (definitely, but in a slightly trashy way, glamourous!)  The variety show was fantastic - contortionists, bicycle fun....culminating in bicycle trampolining (yes I kid you not!) all washed down with a bottle (or three) of bubbles.  A real treat of a weekend!
Mr EE and I heading out in the Limo!

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