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Nutmeg lesbian December 4, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.

It was as multikulti as you could have hoped a dinner party to be. And as multisexi too, as all the permutations were represented. Hets (of both sexes), poofs, lezzers. It had the lot. And Europe was represented in all its colours. We had Belarusians. We had Poles. We had Russians. We had Moldovans. We had the Swiss. I did my best to not shame Her Majesty. Good god, there was even a German for good measure.

The party took its regular course. There was eating. There was boozing. There was smoking. There was – as is inevitable when folk of different nationalities get together – violence. No, not really. There was discussion of this and that. I was called upon, in one horrific moment, to give a lecture on Christmas pudding. And morris dancing. (Sorry, another fib.) The queens cackled. The hets beed as benevolently tolerant as could be. And, as time went on, the lesbian, in a minority of one, as it turned out, lectured.

And lectured.

This was dealt with at many levels. Some chose to make themselves absent. Some sought solace in youtube in the kitchen. Some drank themselves into oblivion. Some sniggered. And some lectured back.

The lectures ranged far and wide. God’s ears should have been burning. Any restrictions on immigration were madness. The world might easily end tomorrow. Adoption. And on. And on. And on…

Luckily, the Russian sat between me and the lecturing lesbian, buffeting me against the wind out of her sails. Of which there was no taking to be done. For decency’s sake, I might occasionally pop my head out from behind the bulk of the Russian, and nod approvingly or hum my agreement. Only then to have an opposing view coming from the other end of the table, at which point I would languidly twist my creaking neck and nod and hum in that direction too, all the while bemoaning Englishness and thinking this was perhaps a tactically good time for a sneaky ciggy.

My intake for the evening was perhaps not the ideal diet. But the party was in honour of winter, and we stocked up on spare calories like nobody’s business. There was cheesiness and fattiness galore and it was all heaven. Some of the contents were enumerated. Nutmeg reared its – I now know – lethal head. Once we’d had a quick round-table of nutmeg in the 900 languages we all spoke, the lesbian sat higher than she had in her saddle all evening and gave us a heart-rending and very serious lecture.

“Nutmeg? Nutmeg!”

“Erm, yes, nutmeg,” the room resonated, sheepishly, and in a selection of Euro-tongues.

“And are you all aware how dangerous nutmeg is?”

Sharp intakes of breath.

“If a kiddy ate one whole nutmeg nut, he’d die. It’s that dangerous. Why oh why aren’t there campaigns about this? Is nutmeg labelled as poison in the supermarket? A kiddy playing around in the cupboards at home could find nutmeg, eat it and he’d be dead.”

I rifled through my pockets, looking for nutmeg, wondering all the while if its posh name was polonium. Alas, crumbs of nothing even vaguely poisonous-looking were all I could come up with, which I took as my cue to depart, making an extra-special effort not to exchange phone numbers.

We got out into Berlin’s boiling winter air. Once more, I wobbled between whether or not it was a good or bad thing that I have no convictions about anything whatsoever.



1. wyndham - December 4, 2006

Some people can cause an argument in an empty room – hooray for these people, because dinner parties can be dreary yet stressful all at the same time so this lady – I refer to the lesbian, of course – must have been a breath of fresh air.

I, too, have no conviction about anything whatsoever, but I can be a Contrary Mary – but, boy, nutmeg, that would have been a challenge.

2. Mangonel - December 5, 2006

I heard that nutmeg can give you one hell of a high, if swallowed whole. There’s bound to be some algorithm giving the ideal ratio of body weight to nutmeg weight so as you don’t actually kill yourself. Don’t try this at home. Certainly not in my home.

3. pleite - December 5, 2006

Darlings, thank you for commenting. I’m hating my blog at the mo, so don’t think I deserve a single reader, and certainly not a commenter. And why can’t I edit the post, for fuck’s sake, to put gaps between the paragraphs?


Wynders, yes, I suppose I should have valued her usefulness factor higher. She certainly didn’t allow for any lulls in the conversation. But she was a tad on the earnest side.

Mango, heed the earnest lesbian’s advice. Don’t swallow one whole. Nutmeg’s lovely though, innit? I just fancy some nice, thick, wintry soup with some grated in. But it’s a bit early for soup. Better have a fag instead.

4. bowleserised - December 5, 2006

I’m with Mangonel. I think it makes you high, not dead. Friends of friends have experimented, and once a particular mince pie making/eating session (in which we tested the theory by adding LOADS of nutmeg) got *really* silly.

My university days. Man, they were crrrrazy times!

Anyway here’s Wikipedia, which proves the lezzer wrong:

“In low doses, nutmeg produces no noticeable physiological or neurological response. Large doses of 7.5 g or more are dangerous, potentially inducing convulsions, palpitations, nausea, eventual dehydration, and generalized body pain. In amounts of 1.0 g or more it is a mild to medium hallucinogen, producing visual distortions and a mild euphoria. It is a common misconception that nutmeg contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI’s). This is untrue; nutmeg should not be taken in combination with MAOI’s but it does not contain them [2]. A test was carried out on the substance which showed that, when ingested in large amounts, nutmeg takes on a similar chemical make-up to MDMA (ecstasy). However, use of nutmeg as a recreational drug is unpopular, because of its strong taste and sand-like texture. Also there are potential painful physical side effects, the risk of Nutmeg Psychosis (see below) and the inconveniently long span for which the effects of a single dose can persist. A user will not experience a peak until approximately six hours after ingestion, and effects can linger for up to three days afterwards. Any unpleasant side-effects would persist throughout this period. [citation needed]

A risk in any large-quantity ingestion of nutmeg is the sudden onset of Nutmeg Psychosis, an acute psychiatric disorder marked by hallucinations, excitement, thought disorder, a sense of impending death and agitation. Some cases have resulted in hospitalization and reportedly few who have experienced the effects of nutmeg poisoning recommend it or repeat the experience. [citation needed]

Even in smaller doses, nutmeg can still be toxic. Ingestion of as little as 3 g may cause dry mouth, fast pulse, fever, flushing and possibly death. It has amphetamine-like effects and may cause the desire to ingest of large volumes of water. There is no specific antidote; the adverse effects wear off after 24 hours (or more) of rest. [citation needed]

It has also been suggested that in small doses, nutmeg can be a trigger for lucid dreaming. Author and ecopshychologist Paul Devereux says that taking up to 2 teaspoons of ground nutmeg before going to bed can induce lucid dreams. He also suggests starting with between 1/2 – 1 teaspoon for a couple of weeks and move up to 2 teaspoons if it is still not working. It should be noted that Devereux warns against using the nutmeg for such purposes regularly because of health risks; also, once a lucid dream has been achieved, use of nutmeg should be stopped. Furthermore, Devereux warns that nutmeg should not be used for this purpose unless you are confident that your body is in a healthy state, and that nutmeg is a safe option for you.

Nutmeg is extremely toxic when injected intravenously. Nutmeg can also cause liver damage if used regularly in large quantities. Nutmeg has in the past been used as an abortifacient. Nutmeg may also be fatal if used regularly in large quantities, but this is not a problem while cooking, since small amounts are used. [citation needed]”

5. pleite - December 5, 2006

“It has amphetamine-like effects and may cause the desire to ingest of large volumes of water.” Nice use of ‘ingest of’. Hurrah for Wikipedia. I can’t decide whether Nutmeg Psychosis would be groovy or a bit embarrassing.

Can you quickly learn Russian today and take this translation off my hands?

6. bowleserised - December 5, 2006

“Nutmeg Psychosis” is a great name for a band.

No can do with the Russian, I’m afraid. Gotta write about the Grand National.

7. BiB - December 5, 2006

I had PRECISELY the same thought. Is there already a band called it?

I am vaguely getting into robot-mode, and the screen is swimming in official looking words, and I’m trying to remember if together they make real English or just my own mangled perception of it. I think I’ll become a drag-queen next week.

8. leon - December 5, 2006

“Nutmeg is extremely toxic when injected intravenously. Nutmeg can also cause liver damage if used regularly in large quantities. Nutmeg has in the past been used as an abortifacient. Nutmeg may also be fatal if used regularly in large quantities”

“Also tastes great added to fish pie!”

9. BiB - December 5, 2006

Mmm, fish pie. What a good, solid, simple name. Hopefully it has absolutely no abortifacient properties either.

10. leon - December 5, 2006

I always maintain (in opposition to nearly other person I’ve ever met) that fish pie is best made with shortcrust pastry, rather than puff pastry or potato.

“Nutmeg Psychosis” doesn’t appear here as far as I can see.

11. leon - December 5, 2006

Best band name on there is probably “Space Age Hitler and the Nazi Synthesizers”, though I can’t see that going down too well in Berlin

12. BiB - December 5, 2006

Leon, I was just about to leap in with, “My sister made a fishy pie once not with potato but with pastry and it was fucking delicious,” which is all true, but then I see this isn’t just a potato-pastry war. It’s TYPE of pastry, and I am too dim to know the difference without visual or, indeed, nutritional prompts. But you seem to know your onions, so I trust you implicitly.

I quite liked Roamin’ Catholics.

13. Ed Ward - December 5, 2006

Nutmeg was what some beboppers used to get high when The Man made things like pot and heroin hard to get. Charlie Parker was known to have used it, and there was one time when after a Billy Eckstein Orchestra gig the stagehands found several empty tins of McCormick’s nutmeg under the risers.

My sources (none of which are myself) say it’s a rough trip.

Incidentally, I might be able to provide a less taxing lesbian for your next party. Maybe one of the ladies next door.

14. BiB - December 5, 2006

Ed, but aren’t your neighbours famously harridans of the first order? I think my social diary is now safely empty till at least the end of time – even Christmas has been cancelled. Hurrah! – so I might not need to use your rent-a-lesbian services just yet.

15. bowleserised - December 5, 2006

I’ve changed my mind.

“Nutmeg Psychosis” is the perfect name for a race horse.

That’d give Weatherby’s something to think about.

16. BiB - December 5, 2006

But I can’t see Frankie Dettori hopping around on something with such a naughty name. He seems much too ‘clean’, as our French friends would say. Incidentally, Frankie Dettori might be the smallest man I fancy.

17. BiB - December 5, 2006

B., now I really do refuse to believe a racehorse could have lesbian in its name. But I’m glad Frankie’s got some skeletons in his closet. Can’t we invent that he’s got a mafia connection too, what with being Italian ‘n all? When he’s not riding horses, he’s no doubt leaving their heads in enemies’ beds.

Leon, bad luck. The “what do you do?” thing is unfortunate, though a handy gap-filler, I suppose. No-one asks that here because they know in advance the answer will be, “Absolutely bugger all”. OK, that’s a lie. I’ve used it myself, even, perhaps. Though thankfully I knew everyone on the nutmeg occasion, bar the lesbian, and she didn’t ask, and the others knew, and knew, too, I would cry if translation came up… But do people REALLY ask what the house prices are? Isn’t the answer to that, in London, always, “Bloody impossibly extortionate”?

A Russian might easily, to Russians’ credit, I hasten to add, though it might throw you a tad at first, ask, as small talk, “Leon, what is love?” Or, “Leon what is difference between erotica and pornography?” Or, which threw my ex when he was asked it by the dinner-ladies who worked at the monastery (!) I worked in, ten seconds after he’d arrived for the Christmas party and with hellos barely out of the way, “BiB’s ex, do you think Dickens and Dostoevsky can be considered the most similar of all Russian and English writers?”

18. leon - December 5, 2006

One can rent lesbians, eh?

Twirls moustache

19. pleite - December 5, 2006

Ten a fuckin’ penny round ‘ere, mate…

20. leon - December 5, 2006

Actually I think you’re probably right, based upon my one trip to Berlin.

I find dinner parties quite a painful experience, given that most people in London tend to begin any conversation with the “So, what do you do?” or “What are the house prices like in your postcode?” gambits. I’m not actually joking. Perhaps this is just my mistfortune, I dunno. Most social engagements I’ve been to recently seem to involve a series of stilted coversations with small, terribly enthusiastic / earnest girls called Sophie. Or Gemma. Who have never had anything bad happen to them in their lives.

21. bowleserised - December 5, 2006

I believe Frankie was “done” for the old hokey-cokey once *nudge nudge wink wink*, you know, SNOW! God, I’m out of touch with the youth, but don’t you believe that butter wouldn’t melt. They have to keep the weight off somehow.

“Nutmeg Lesbian” is another great racehorse name.

22. Arabella - December 5, 2006

Such a great description of a dinner party that I was there – no really, I picked my costume and everything.
Yes, I’d put money on Nutmeg Lesbian.

23. BiB - December 5, 2006

Arabella, I’m having terrible feeling-inferior-to-Americans since meeting Americans again for the first time in ages in Berlin. This nutmeg occasion was very casual. If you’d come in anything more glam than jeans you’d have stolen the show by miles. Whereas I’ve got a feeling Americans might not do that level of informality. Or do they? I know the stereotype is that Americans probably think we Englanders are stuffy old farts, and we are, in a way, but they’ve got their rules too, haven’t they? (Mind you, Leon’s reminding me how stiff dinner parties can be in the UK. I dreaded it if guests were ever invited to our place in London. DREADED it. Well, until we were all pissed.)

Might Lipstick Lesbian be a more allowed name for a horse?

24. benperry.net » St. Elsewhere - December 5, 2006

[…] BiB (Broke in Berlin) is still battling Berlin, Russians, nutmeg, lesbians, Nietzsche, nerves, vice, as well as Sturm and Drang […]

25. pleite - December 5, 2006

Ben, oh my god, a pingback. A wordpress thing I didn’t have when I was sleeping with the enemy. Just how bloody brilliantly exciting. Thank you galore.

26. Bren - December 5, 2006

BiB! G’day fella! I’ve been out of action for two weeks and haven’t the energy nor, I suspect, the time to wander back through blogland to catch up on your happenings.

But I did read this post. You, Broke, are a masterful writer.

As you’ve seen from Blonde’s blog, I was back in the Holy Land for a quick work trip, which included drinks with diplomats and a few things besides.

Interesting times. When are you and I going to meet, to fend off opining lesbians and the like? Jerusalem in March? Berlin for Christmas next year? I half-threatened I’d come last year, if I remember correctly…

27. BiB - December 5, 2006

Gosh, are you that much of a glutton for punishment that you’re prepared to do another round-the-world flight for the sake of Chrimbo with a pair of miseries like us? Although you’d be welcome, of course. Mind you, I always thought it was doubly masochistic when my NZ bro would come to Europe for Christmas. Who could sacrifice delicious Antipodean summer for the UK winter?

Ah, March in Jerusalem would be bliss. Of all my travel plans, Israel sounds the likeliest, because it’s close, so feels easy, although there aren’t cheapo flights to Israel, are there? Damn, damn, damn. We WILL manage it eventually.

And just don’t even think of mentioning cricket. Just don’t.

(Are you going to take up blogging in an anonymous guise so as not to imperil your career?)

(And did BaH also mention a new lady-friend?)

28. Daggi - December 5, 2006

Who’s gonna enrol Nutmeg Psychosis ft. Nutmeg Lesbian for Pyongyang Woodstock? When’s band practice?

29. BiB - December 5, 2006

I’m up for it, as long as it doesn’t clash with my fantasy Israel trip in March. When is it again? What’s the DPRK’s position on lesbian pop? The exchange rate’s very good at the mo. 4.352 wons to the pound. We’re laughing, I reckon.

30. Mangonel - December 5, 2006

29 posts. This is approaching Jonny B. heights. My congratulations. (I know, I know, 30 now. Pedant.)

31. Welsherella - December 5, 2006

Really?! Nutmeg is poisonous?! (Don’t have the energy right now to read ALL the comments explaining it but I will, really soon! And then I will dream up a patient who ingests a tiny amount of it and goes into kidney failure – can that happen? – and then write a reflective piece on it…)

32. David (TEFL Smiler) - December 6, 2006

I remember a period when Norwich was dry of hash (man). After consulting their manual to see what Mr Burroughs would have done, some of my fellow students attempted the nutmeg solution. One mouthful later, all apart from one decided it was like eating soil. The loner continued to force-feed himself, so desperate was he to hit that high. But he was always drunk, and he was already psychotic, and so it was impossible to see any effects.

At a later stage, they discovered that nutmeg afficionados mix the powder into chocolate mousse to make it more edible. But by then they were back on the resin.

33. pleite - December 6, 2006

Mango, I think there’s something to do with timing in it. If you happen to catch folk commenting, and answer quickly, you can get into a sort of commenty conversation. My most ever becommented post was when my pal and I chatted all night, but via blog, me not working, him keeping me company.

But Welsherella, you mustn’t get Baron von Münchausen’s syndrome, or whatever it’s called, and go round killing all your patients with nutmeg. (Nutmeg Nurse. Might be another good name for a group/horse.) Or is that a different syndrome now? The nation’s kidneys are in your hands!

David, in spite of being an inner-city London thing, I wonder now if I might not have had an awfully sheltered upbringing. Even if Michael H_ did force us all to try narcotics aged about 3. I think I remember the neighbours and me trying to roll tea up in some newspaper – probably the Daily Mirror – and smoke that, but gave up when big flames appeared… and all the tea fell out. And perhaps we tried to set fire to a banana and ingest of that too. But most of my youth, and, indeed, my life, has been spent non-high. Low, if you will.

34. David (TEFL Smiler) - December 6, 2006

I think some of the real druggies live in the styx (spelling?). There’s nothing else to do!

You lived next door to the former singer from INXS? ;-)

Nothing wrong with having a low-life… and it’s certainly better than being one, which is what happened to those I knew who experimented too much with different substances. (I’m coming all over Nancy Reagan.)

As for my fellow students: they also tried smoking the stringy bits of a banana. It’s supposed to be dry, and so I tried to help them by defrosting some stringy bits in a microwave. To no real avail.

Another attempt was to cover a normal cigarette with toothpaste and let it harden. I even tried that one myself: it gave me a headache. But it was fun watching the sparks fly when I took a drag.

35. David (TEFL Smiler) - December 6, 2006

Oops – word order issues! Make that “I’m coming over all Nancy Reagan”!!!!!

Must remove hideous image from my brain…

36. BiB - December 6, 2006

Oh, I’d always thought sticks was sticks, but maybe it’s styx, which is much more poetic. Isn’t that the river in Hades? Etymologists, please help!

Did poor old Michael Hutchence – peace be upon him – smoke tea? And was Nancy Reagan anti-drug? Well, I mean, I’m not surprised she was anti-drug, but was she actively anti-drug?

37. pleite - December 6, 2006

Sorry. Being dim. No, a different Michael H_. He was from school, and we weren’t really 3. More like 13. With my parents downstairs. Imagine the naughtiness! But experimental drug-taking teenagers, of whom I’m sure there are probably quite a few million reading this, be warned. Michael H_ was last heard of doing a stretch in chokey. Just say no!

38. leon - December 6, 2006

People in London do talk about house prices all the time, because:

a) The Evening Standard never runs a “real” news story when a house prices one will do.

b) The useless nature of pension schemes nowadays means that people are treating houses as a cast-iron, high-return investment to safeguard their future (an error, as prices can fall, as with any overvalued commodity; but there’s no telling people).

c) Every second program on formerly-quite-watchable BBC2 is now about making money from property.

d) Seduced by the above, even the most hardened liberals are reprogramming themselves into the slum-landlord mentality and doing buy-to-let by using such limp moral justifications as “but people in France rent all the time!” (as a friend once said).

e) It’s actually becoming so expensive just to have a roof over your head in London that everyone’s got a nagging fear they’re going to end up living in a Tokyo hotel-style pod, a cardboard box, or Stevenage.

39. David (TEFL Smiler) - December 6, 2006

Nancy Reagan was very much involved with Just Say No, of course. But there was never a campaign for “Just Say No To Nutmeg” or “Just Say No To Belligerent Women In Sensible Shoes”. Perhaps there should have been.

You’re right, it’s not Styx. But perhaps it ought to be!

40. Marsha Klein - December 6, 2006

Sounds like a fun party! I’m with Wyndham on the “breath of fresh air” thing – I think sometimes it cheers things up immensely when somebody comes out with a pronouncement like the nutmeg thing (I keep thinking about the nursery rhyme “I Had A Little Nut Tree” – maybe the visit from the King of Spain’s daughter, referred to in the rhyme, is an example of nutmeg psychosis?)
Why do you hate your blog? Mine is dull, dull, dull but I will keep plugging away (probably), hoping to make it more exciting (perhaps I need a new life first?!)
I have some convictions (sort of) but am so afraid of offending people that I usually take refuge in the nodding and humming thing too, so obviously don’t have any really strong convictions (apart from the one for illegal nutmeg use, ha ha!)

41. BiB - December 6, 2006

Leon, you have my condolences, and I suggest, then, that you move to Berlin this afternoon. There’s probably an Easyjet flight this evening. You can live with me and the Russian. I haven’t asked him yet, but I’m sure he’ll agree if you knock up some of your delicious recipes. Or, if that doesn’t appeal, then choose homelessness over Stevenage.

My ex, who is the dearest person to me in the world, bar the Russian, natch, is planning to do that very nasty thing of buying something and keeping his old flat to rent out. I don’t think he’s realised that it’s a moral minefield. I don’t think he wants to move, but folk are saying, “Money, money money,” to him, and he’s falling for it. My sister was drummed out of – OK, bollocked in – a village in France for Englishly looking in the estate agent’s window.

I suppose this problem will hit Berlin one day. In the meantime, I wallow in moral smugness at having yet to fall for the attractions of money for money’s sake.

But Leon, while we’re here, have you just outed yourself as an Anglo-Welsh-American? Was that ‘program’ I saw? It was, it was. Fess up.

David, I hadn’t realised Grange Hill succeeded Nancy Reagan. Imagine that. I see the campaign also covered violence and premarital sex. I’m against the former, though not the latter. And while I’m not pro-drug, I’m pro-legalisation.

42. pleite - December 6, 2006

Marsha, state your case. Are you pro- or anti-nutmeg? You’re right, of course. She was good value, the nutmeg lesbian. And perfectly nice. But a bit hectoring. (Actually, Germans are quite good at indignation. I must come up with some of my favourite German quotes from dinner-parties one day.)

It’s up and down with loving or hating the blog. It’s nice today, when folk are reacting away to nutmeg and lesbians – who’d have thought it? – but it can be a pain when I devote too much time to it and when it makes me now be in a fiendish rush with work.

And of course you must soldier on. You’ve only just begun. I like to remind folk that I was in complete blog silence for a good year or so when I began. Whereas you’ve got folk on the case straight away. And of course you don’t need a new life. Life is fascinating enough as it is. I’ve got a feeling that’s why those Danish Dogme flms were all such a roaring success (with me, anyway). They do life. OK, perhaps with child abuse and weirdnesses thrown in, but it seems lifey. And Alan Bennett. And all sorts of lifey art. Choose life! Just say no!

43. Marsha Klein - December 6, 2006

Don’t want to hold you up further, but thanks for replying. You’re right (about life, I mean) I’m just a bit fed-up at the moment.
P.S. I think recreational nutmeg use is permissable and should be positively encouraged – you can’t make an authentic bechamel sauce without it!

44. pleite - December 6, 2006

Gosh, no, you’re not holding me up. It’s a pleasure. I do my best work in the middle of the night anyway, though I’ve been an early bird of late, which is nice, but it means I hit the sack just as I should be getting into the zone.

Fed up from what? Winter? Naughty daughters? Just everything being a pain? Blog it, blog it. It makes for the best voyeuristic reading. (If you don’t mind awfully.)

45. Marsha Klein - December 6, 2006

I might just do that – don’t say I didn’t warn you!

46. BiB - December 6, 2006

Forwarned is… something or other. Is it forarmed? When you leave a comment, too many https come up in your address. (Does wordpress cleverly save your details each time? I love wordpress more and more each day.) If you adjust that next time, it will make it easier for folk to click straight over to your bright, airy, spacious gaff from this dingy hovel.

47. Marsha Klein - December 6, 2006

Like this, you mean?

48. BiB - December 6, 2006

Genau, genau! I’m gonna click me straight over there. Just you wait and see…

49. Ed Ward - December 6, 2006

A thought occurred overnight: was the Nutmeg Lesbian German? Because besides (lots of) salt and (not so much) pepper, nutmeg is just about the only seasoning in German food — but it appears everywhere. Just check any German “convenience” food for Muskatnuss. See?

And her diatribe would, thus, fit in to the remarkable love-hate relationship Germans have with their food. I once read that the number one fear Germans have is food-poisoning. Number two was the resurgence of Fascism. Really.

50. BiB - December 6, 2006

Ed, little did I know that nutmeg was a foodtsuff of such import! And that’s a corking fact that fear of the return of fascism was a (close, even?) second behind fear of food-poisoning.

She wasn’t the token German of the evening. That was a homosexual male who was actually the first person to play the making-themselves-scarce card. And now I realise it’s because nutmeg is a subject so raw and painful for the Germans. Well, or being poisoned by foodtsuffs is.

There’s some other foodstuff that always makes me think of Germany. Is it cloves? Might be, what with Glühwein having made its seasonal reappearance.

51. BiB - December 6, 2006

Mind you, haven’t oodles of non-Christian countries taken to Christmas with gusto? One of the most enthusiastic Christmas-lovers I know, though he lives in the UK, admittedly, is a Malaysian Muslim. I’ve got a feeling Xmas is big in Japan – boom boom – and… and… Can’t think of any more examples, really. Thailand? China? India? Anyone?

I had an excellent, non-festive Chrimbo once. My parents, one miserable old friend of theirs who never took his hat off and hated everything, my brother, his Jewish girlfriend, her brother and me. I think it was the Jewish brother’s first Christmas, and I’m not sure what he made of the mountain of socks he got as a last-minute-unexpected-guest-fuck-we-don’t-know-anything-about-him-it-had-better-be-socks present. I probably got socks too.

52. Blonde at Heart - December 6, 2006

I did mention a new lady friend. But things are rather unclear as to her status now. You should ask Bren. And do come to Jerusalem in March. It will be great! Or rather, come to Christmas. There is of course no Christmas here, which is, if you think about it, a rather dumb invitation to ask you to come for Christmas when there is no Christmas.

53. BiB - December 6, 2006

…but fun that the place that religious Christians will turn their minds to, at Christmas, will be one of the least Christmassy places on earth. Bren never liked the Israeli non-Christmas, did he? (I’ve written to snoop into his private life.) Although there are famously Christmassy church services in Bethlehem or Nazareth, aren’t there? Didn’t old Yasser used to turn up for the service there with his Christian wife?

Well, I will make my March Jerusalem fantasy as concrete as can be, but I am SO poor – he says, instantly regretting that he said he felt morally superior for not aiming to earn as much money as possible about ten minutes ago – that I can’t imagine I’ll make it. Unless there is a serious upturn in financial fortunes, or I start to work a lot harder.

54. bowleserised - December 6, 2006

I have to say my Israeli friend just pissed herself laughing at the novelty Fernsehturm-shaped bird feeder I’ve bought my mum for Christmas. “This is what Jesus did all that cross stuff for? Ahahahahahahahaha! I’m SO glad I’m out of this shit!”

55. MountPenguin - December 6, 2006

In Thailand during the first half of November they were already putting out Christmassy stuff in the supermarkets frequented by foreigners, though I don’t get the impression it’s really taken off amongst the general population. I think they are more into celebrating H.M. the King’s birthday (yesterday) and stuff like that.

Japan on the other hand… they get into the Christmas spirit without actually celebrating it. Lots of Christmassy paraphanelia everywhere, awful piped carols etc. and they sell “Christmas cakes”, which are sponge cakes covered in white cream and with a strawberry on top.

56. BiB - December 6, 2006

Penguin, http://culturalsnow.blogspot.com/ has written with reference to Thailand this very day, here. Japanese Christmas Cake sounds better than Anglo-cake, which never grabbed me, though maybe marzipan is something one comes to love with age, like olives. And fish. And people with opposing opinions.

57. Blonde at Heart - December 7, 2006

There are indeed Midnight masses all around the churches in Israel, so there is some Christas here, if you look really close, squint your eyes and turn your head to the left.

And did you see? You were right! He really could not resist the temptation of blogging!

As to your question, Bren really did not like the non-Christmassiness of Israel. But now he will have a proper Australian Christmas with lying on the beach with a red-and-white hat suitable for much colder cliamtes.

58. Bren - December 7, 2006

Bren LOVED the non-Christmassiness of Israel. Bren frigging hates the horrible, plastic, gross capitalist shittiness of the Australian Christmas and would much prefer its total absense.

Bren’s favourite Christmas was 1997. He arrived in lovely, cold, Christmassy England just five days before the 25th from the total non-Christmas land of Israel. Bam! It was Christmas. Lovely. And two days after Christmas, on Bren’s 21st birthday, he awoke to, ahem, a blowjob by the wonderful Jane, aka, the love of his live. Can’t beat that.

But lying drunk on a beach in a red and white hat is something he’ll do with relish. Doesn’t take Christmas for that to happen, however.

59. Blonde at Heart - December 7, 2006

Sorry, my mistake. You seemed not to like it, or is it your way to show you liked it?

I think you should have saved the way-too-detailed story about your 21st birthday to yourself. But now it is “in the open”, good to know how you spent your 21st and who is the love of your life, though, if I am not much mistaken, she is now a married lady with children. Didn’t she have a boyfriend at the time? The one that later became her husband? The middle-class toff?

So I guess 18 days from now you will lie on the beach and we will see you in the Palestinian newspapers, in the section where they always show pictures from Christmas in Australia to prove you can celebrate Christmas even if it is terribly hot outside?

60. BiB - December 7, 2006

Shouldn’t Christmas in hot Christian places – erm, I can only think of Australia (OK, and all of South America, and the Christian bits of Africa) – be MORE religious, seeing as you can’t get the wintry, pagan angle into it that we can up here? Or has Australia just replaced the wintry paraphernalia with something else, like Santa in trunks?

BaH, I am having perverse visions of huge, life-size Nativity plays taking place in Bethlehem/Nazareth. (Sorry, can never remember which way round the journey was. HaNotzri, but born in Bethlehem, ken? My ignorance, needless to say, was never much appreciated by my Christian colleagues in Russia.) Mind you, how accessible is Bethlehem to tourists these days? Is that going to be Palestinian tourist destination number 1 when the two-state solution is finally implemented and we can all, at last, skip round the bonfire of peace and love hand-in-hand?

61. Blonde at Heart - December 7, 2006

Jesus was indeed born in Bethlehem, and these days, when Israel and the Palestinians are officially in “Tahdi’a” (mistranslated by your local media as “ceasefire”) it is quite easy for tourists to go to Bethlehem.

As far as tourism goes, I guess more people will go to Bethlehem once there is peace. I would go, at least.

62. Welsherella - December 7, 2006

My, haven’t you done well for comments on this one?! I may suggest it is the randomness of the content but I shan’t as I am too excited by the idea of the world fame I could attain by being the “Nutmeg Nurse”! Would I have to kill them, though?! It’s sort of against my principles… Does nutmeg not have any other, more positive, side effects?
Ooh, and thank you everyone for making me feel more Christmassy just by talking about it! I’m a Christian and was actually feeling more Germanhomesick-wintervallish than Christmassy… Probably due to the Christmas markets, gluhwein and my annual trip to Aldi I think…
I also have an English Jewish friend who was in Germany the same time as me and we all bought him non-Christmas pressies and he gave us nothing, the mean old grumpleknickers!

63. BiB - December 7, 2006

BaH, the day I make my famed Israel trip, when peace will reign on the earth, or something, and the main street of Bethlehem will be called Shimon Peres Boulevard, and the main street of Tel Aviv will be called Abu Mazen Close, we will skip across barely noticeable borders and you will show me all there is to see.

Welshy, I think nutmeg and lesbians are the secret ingredients for all successful blog-posts. Or people were just in a chatty mood… Mean old grumpleknickers indeed. He could have faked it and given you Hanukkah prezzies… Mind you, my only trip to the Christmas Markets this year gave me instant depression, though the Glühwein was a timely boost… And, no, best not kill the patients. Murder is rude, by nutmeg nurses or otherwise. Make them soup or, as Marsha says, bechamel sauce (though it might be seen as taking the piss to just make them sauce) and grate a non-lethal dose of nutmeg in.

64. David (TEFL Smiler) - December 8, 2006

What did you say your record number of comments was? And what’s with the little smiley face at the very bottom of the screen? Is that some secret thing, like the pi symbol on the screen in that film where Sandra Bullock plays a computer expert? Are you aiming for world domination?

65. BiB - December 8, 2006

This is the record, by far.

I’ve noticed that smile too. I must go and loiter at other wordpress blogs and see if they also have it. I promise it wasn’t my doing.

…but yes, I AM aiming for world domination.

66. Gregory - January 3, 2009

Ah the wonders of Nutmeg, perhaps I should give this a good try ;-P look for me in the obituaries if anything goes wrong. LOL

67. BiB - January 3, 2009

Don’t kill yourself, Gregory. Come and play here with me instead. Or, alternatively, try to remember what makes life worth living. Or convince yourself that life is worth living. As satisfaction with life can become addictive. And snowball. The more contented you get, the better you get at living.

Anyway, perhaps you were joking. But don’t kill yourself.

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