2011 Taalcentrum Christmas Lunch
|Blimey, that was a quick 12 months - here we are again ... yummy!|
A rumour circulates that our Christmas pressies have arrived, everybody wanders down to Bamboo Square...
We stand around clacking, waiting for something to happen ... or for a fat guy in a red suit to show up.
Aha ... the goodies. Wine, cheese, cheese boards, and bicycle crates ... everything for the young(ish) lush about town (which covers most of us).
Anne, Olet, Ploon and Karin wait patiently (still no sign of Santa ... must have had too much to drink the night before).
So anyway, we stand around some more .... while lots of nothing takes place. Please - someone - say something!
Wandert and Christien explain why they have been sneaking around for weeks, and disappearing at odd times of day .... so much for THOSE rumours then!
Wandert sees that we are still waiting for an invitation to dive in and grab the goodies ...
... more polite hanging around and waiting ... nobody wants to go first...
Oh good grief .... dive in and get it .......
Oooh ... goody ...
We do not need another invitation .... it is every man/woman for himself/herself (sorry if I left anybody out).
"Apology accepted ... but don't do it again!"
All the ingredients for a drunken party - Wandert and Christien know us all too well.
Karin searches around but can't seem to find the special gift - the Taalcentrum cushion for 2012
It seems that nobody has got the cushion ... how could that be?
Coreine looks devastated, she was really hoping for that cushion.
Olet and Karin, on the other hand, are relieved ... they thought that Rob was going to include a whoopee cushion in the Christmas box ... as if he would do something like that! The very thought!
No - NOT Whoopie Goldberg ... whoopee cushion !!!
Yup ... that's the bugger! Perhaps next year?
Rob and Nigel are both inveterate party animals ... crisis? What crisis?
Karla is dressed to kill ... then she gets a whiff of Nigel's after-shave!
Lots of standing around and chatting politely, waiting for that good nosebag to arrive.
Rob, meanwhile, wanders around photographing himself with anybody who is either not quick enough or too drunk to escape ... I suspected that Anouk's excuse was that she was too drunk ... but then I caught sight of her shoes...
Wow ..... spectacular footwear, but that'll REALLY slow you down... (mind you, I am NOT saying that she wasn't drunk).
Nigel and Paul look very serious ... how odd? I'm sure they'll make up for it later on.
Myrthe talks to herself while David reveals the inner social animal.
Eline was suffering from a cold, but still managed to look gorgeous.
Kirsten would clearly like to tear the paparazzi limb from limb
Ooops - chins propped on hands - the crisis seems to be getting to Rhian, Mikkie and Olet
Sun-faced buddha, moon-faced Buddha, but Anne bravely smiles away - what a star!
Kar and Juuth have clearly exhausted the conversational opportunities offered by the waiter's bum
(oops, I think that he heard what they were saying)
Myrthe clearly prefers the other waiter's bum....
High on life, Annetti laughs at Paul smiling for the birdie ... Rob sensibly carries on drinking.
Janneke turns up (fashionably late) and tells Rhian to get out of her chair (must have been a rough day at the office)
Easy on the bread Sandy ... leave some room for all of that posh food
...oh... I see ... perhaps you'd better have some more bread!
Watch out Rhian, I think that Jan still wants your seat ...
... I hope that things don't get nasty ... (on the other hand, it might be rather entertaining ... and we could take bets...)
Meanwhile, back in reality, we all open our envelopes and get involved in "The Game"
...well, everybody apart from the alcoholics at Rob and Paul's table, that is ...
The management deny all responsibility for the contents of this image
Those are some very evil smiles .... what do they know that we don't I wonder?
Eline is getting worked up about something .... but Marja gets distracted by the paparazzi (I hope that she didn't draw blood with that butter knife)
Ooops ... too late!
Block of wood with traces of - very tasty - food. This is the gastronomic equivalent of "Blink and you miss it"
Now this was very tasty indeed. It was just like food ... only smaller.
David wasn't worried about the lack of quantity ... but he did wax lyrical about the quality.
...I do wish that someone would sit next to Myrt ... she's still talking to herself - it's so embarrassing!
Odd ... after drinking all that alcohol, you'd think that they'd be more cheerful?
Rob, Christien and Wandert hang on Coreine's every word ... and this was a good one:
Here, too, there is a momentary dip in the cheerfulness index
Aha ... I see that Janneke has managed to grab Rhian's chair ... looks as though she wants Katie's now
Good grief .... the chins are still propped on the hands ... I hope that they cheer up soon ...
Rhian is in a world of her own ...
No surprises there then ...
Olet looks shocked (she had a very delicate upbringing) ... Mikkie has seen it all before.
I'm sure we didn't used to be this serious ... come on girls, lighten up! Peleez.
Now that is more like it ... Paul and Toby show how it's done!
Looks as though Linda is trying to kiss David's nose .... Note to self: cut down on the booze (self to note: mind your own bloody business!)
Aunty Maike tells Ploontje the facts of life
Now THAT is what I'm talking about - Linda is high on life
Mathilde promises Alet that there really is some food on that plate .... Alet is not so sure
...Ah yes .... now I see .....
Marja, Juuth and Kar, being well brought-up young ladies, wait for someone to say grace
Good enough!!! Let's get on with it!
The waitress mistakenly hands the bill to a shocked-looking Kirsten ... Karin politely pretends not to notice.
Timing is everything ... this shot was taken at the very moment that Eric discovered something hard in his food..
Rob pounces on David who wasn't wearing stilettos ... so he was probably just pissed.
Anouk looks nervous, because Maud is taking names ... come the revolution we are all going to be in serious trouble!
Looks as though Paul has just got a nose-full of Nigel's after-shave too!
Eric arrives back from the dentist's
As I get older, translation coordinators seem to get smaller.
Fleur is trapped by the paparazzi ... this is her "rabbit in the headlights" look!
These two were up to no good, of that I'm sure.
Mikkie asks Rhian where she can get a short kilt for her boyfriend.
Anne claims that it is no good trying to take a photograph of her, as she always blinks at the wrong time ....
Proof ... if proof were needed!
Juuth gets a gossip fix (Marja is above that sort of thing)
Eric asks Linda whether a sexy, confident man really needs a good set of teeth. Linda considers the question at length .... either that, or she was comatose (I know I was).
Isn't it frustrating when you are not close enough to hear all that good gossip?
Ah well, bugger the gossip ... just as long as the booze doesn't run out!
The list is growing. Linda tells Maud that she is going to need a lot more paper.
Paul the party animal
Karla pretends that she is sober enough to read Maud's post-revolutionary hit list ..... would have fooled me too - but for the fact that she was holding it upside down.
Why isn't this woman on the cover of Vogue?
Karla asks Christien if she can have some glue from her secret stash (odd, I thought that Chris was a nice girl)
Nigel takes advantage of rising blood alcohol levels to run around pestering attractive women (something of a Taalcentrum tradition).
...Rob and Chris are looking fuzzy and smiley - all things considered, the afternoon appears to be going quite well,
All is well Annette, your little boy is eating his greens (also his reds and his purples).
Toby spots something taking swimming lessons in Maud's soup
... looks as though the chef's name will be added to her list ...
Colourful AND tasty .... no complaints here
Eline whispers to Jan that its embarrassing ... Marja just can't stop staring at the waiter's bum
Eline and Jan finally succeed in drinking Rob under the table (well done girls).
This waiter is looking really fed up ... and with all those women staring at his rear, I can quite understand. Why can't women understand that we men are people too - not just sex objects!
Who gave the camera to this fly on the ceiling?
Mind you - for an insect - she takes a pretty mean photo.
Rob launches into his speech
Myrt zones out
...which is a shame, because she missed Rob's one man Mexican wave
Jan and Eline look visibly moved (either that, or they are thinking about Rhian's bare-assed Scotsman too)
Rob tells us how Ab Fab we are .... in all modesty, it is only the truth.
Rob winds up with a big finale ... although, for me, the Mexican Wave was the high point of his address (I think that he may have peaked early).
Ten glasses of wine can make you REALLY mellow ... the only problem then is how to sit up straight - but I think that Paul is handling that quite well, don't you Gentle Reader?
Anouk admires Rhian's ability to take Power Naps in mid conversation (must have something to do with being the mother of two young children).
The owner of the place keeps topping up our wine, despite our cries of protest.
Good grief ... does EVERYBODY have a list?
Nope! Mikkie is thinking about her new house ...
Good grief ... that kid really needs to cut down on the glue sniffing.
On average, we are a very aesthetically pleasing bunch of people (for a bunch of total winos).
Marja finds it all very confusing ... it's the time of life (and I should know - most things are a total mystery to me).
Another wine is explained in terms of underlying bedrock, soil acidity, day length ... and butterflies fluttering their wings in a rainforest on the other side of the planet (well, he was on a roll, and who was I to heckle him?)
Ploon seemed to get smaller as the afternoon wore on
Coreine does "enigmatic" very well indeed ... all totally wasted on Wandert of course, by now it was WAY past his bedtime!
Amazingly, when a wine glass was shoved into his hand, he rejoined the party. Rob and Christien mutter about "social lightweights".
This little knot of attractive intellectuals is really getting into the spirit of the game.
...WOW they are REALLY secretive.
We present our results ... amazingly, one group actually got it right. The mystery person was none other than Lord Lucan.
Time to present our proud TC-VU trophy, AKA the Green Dick!
Kirsten objects on the grounds that we are presenting the wrong image .... a Green Dick indeed, what WILL people think?
Aha .... this must be the funny side of Sales and Marketing!
Everybody else sensibly gets on with the meal.
These two were at it for ages ... what WERE they talking about?
Marja, Eline and Karla take a moment
...not our Jan, she is still in mid-flow ....
On Eric's advice, Linda is busily surfing the net for health insurance with good dental terms
Christien seems to be having a great time.
Maike, focused as ever, gets on with the business at hand ...
If she had been less involved with her wine she would have seen Nigel coming, but by the time she looked up - it was far too late!
While Toby tries to stop his eyes from crossing, Eline discovers that although wine is not not a cure for the common cold, it does stop you worrying about it.
Looks as though Anouk and Rhian might have overdone the cold medicine.
Annetti circulates and mingles, briefly dropping in on Anne and Karin (who was looking remarkably awake at this stage of the festivities).
Marja has put away that dangerous butter knife and tries to pull her bread roll apart ... with mixed success. Karla sympathetically makes fun of her.
Juuth and Katie deep in conversation. The paparazzi sensitively take a couple of dozen close-up shots before moving on.
Looks as though they are considering really weighty matters doesn't it? However the flushed cheeks and glazed eyes give the game away. We at the TC-VU like to work hard and drink hard (or was that "play hard"?).
Christien turns to Rob, and then completely forgets what she was going to say. Not an issue though, as Rob is enjoying a flashback to days gone by:
Ah yes .... we were all a lot younger and groovier then!
The waiters keep the wine flowing, and Paul makes it disappear. Nice party trick!
Aha ... movement down at the end of the table. I think that the cold medicine is starting to wear off!
At this stage of the game our social juices were flowing freely, and nobody was paying any attention to the waiter's behind any more (indeed, the poor lad was starting to feel unappreciated!)
At a certain time of life, after a glass of wine or three, it is easy to squat down ... but a real bugger to get up again. Annetti gives up trying, and carries on clacking. Anne and Karin politely pretend not to notice her predicament.
Somebody had better help her up, otherwise the poor girl could be there all night!
David and Rhian reminisce about the good auld days in Bonnie Wee Scotland.
Yet another explanation of the wine, with one or two exceptions we all try to look as though we are listening (or, indeed, that we are even awake).
Rhian disovers that she has been talking too much, and quickly tries to catch up with the other drinkers.
Not a chance Rhian ... we are already totally plastered!
Rob and Nigel drink to each other's health, while inflicting further damage on their livers.
Kirsten is the life and soul of the party. Maike is cool with that, as it means that she can take it easy and carry on drinking.
Kirsten impresses us with her ability to count to twenty without taking her shoes off.
At last - Coreine cracks a smile - I think that she just might be laughing at the idiot behind the camera.
Katie decides that it is time to take her leave ...before she falls over (always a wise move).
Paul is in a very dark place ... the girls are ganging up on him.
Sandy - on the other hand - shows that she is made of the Right Stuff, matching the older hands of the TC-VU glass for glass. This girl will go far (provided that she can still stand at the end of the afternoon).
Once again, the waiter is the centre of female attention, but this time it is not his bottie that interests them, it is the tray of fine chocolate that he is carrying.
Decisions, decisions .....
Er ... I could come back later, when you've made your mind up? Possibly?
The delicately-reared Olet looks shocked ... was it something that Mikkie said?
Nope - that wasn't it - she's all smiles again. Perhaps it was just indigestion. Meanwhile, Sandy inspects the waiter's wares (?).
More decisions ... the girls can't handle it!
The waiter aims for Sandy's block of stone (haven't these people heard of PLATES?) ... and misses. Sandy is past caring though.
Meanwhile Olet is close to deciding what she wants.
Over at another table, the social lubricant slams in like a ton of bricks.
David launches into a spirited discussion of the golden age of the Albanian film industry (shouldn't take long then!).
Katie heads up a discussion group in one corner
Eva, Linda and Eric play that old party favourite "Bet you smile before I do"! (the smart money is on Eric).
Coreine is trying to explain how big something is ... Wandert looks worried. What COULD they be talking about?
Eline wonders how long it will be before David slides under the table.
OK, so we've had food in cracked rocks, chunks of wood, and slates ... now we get a chunk of glass - where will it all end?
Nope ... I think not .... this is nowhere near classy enough for discerning punters like the staff of the TC-VU! We need something closer to our hearts!
Yup! That's it! Bring It On!!!
Oh dear, here comes trouble. Rob and Christien each want BOTH bits of nougat.
Wandert and Coreine busily photograph the food ... who would do something like that?
Kirsten has an evil glint in her eye - what IS she planning?
What have these two been smoking, I wonder?
The chocolate calms everybody down, with the exception of Kirsten ... she got the plain chocolate whirl with the cocaine filling.
Nigel takes advantage of Eline's tipsy state to sneak a quick photo.
The translators admire the Green Dick, struggle to express their admiration of this fine trophy, and fail spectacularly.
Anouk is really into the spirit of the thing.
I could swear that Maike has not moved all evening ...apart from all that wine sipping of course
I don't know much, but I know a serious drunken conversation when I see one!
Oh! She can move!
so of course, she grabs Rob's bow tie ....
Looking good Maike
(sorry ... must do something about that overactive imagination)
Not sure about THAT look though
Rhian has to leave ... but not before I get a shot of her "Cool Brittannia" shoes.
After sitting in the same office together for years, you'd think that there would be nothing left to say wouldn't you? Nothing could be further from the truth.
So much attractiveness in one photograph ... be still my beating heart.
Karla launches into another verse of "Mull of Kintyre", while Marja wonders how she's going to get her home in that state.
Eline, Mikkie and Myrt decide that it is time to go.
Come on girls ... the party's over
Olet, Sandy and Fleur wait for the waiter to come back ... they need more chocolate!
Come on ... unglue your bum from that seat - we're off!!!
Paul gives the "Thumbs Up", the afternoon is officially a success (of course he is always doing that, so I'm not sure that we should set too much store by it).
Post party dip?
Talk about long goodbyes!
"We must do this again next year"
Paul taps his watch ... but Anouk wants more booze!
Nigel suddenly gets all coy in front of the camera.
Rob and Karla are also shocked at the size of the bill, and try to haggle ... with no luck! Oh well, it was worth a try - thanks for coming everyone. We all helped to remind one another how wonderful we are!
Last Updated (Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:04)