Penning this on the flight back to Edinburgh from Frankfurt. This is my second trip to Germany – the first was earlier this year, to Berlin. This trip, while somewhat less spectacular, and bereft of Paul Friend’s ubiquitous sleeping carcass, has been good fun.
I like German style and design – I like the sharp black suits, the angular black-rimmed spectacles, the cars. I even like the fonts. I’ve long considered the spoken German language a bit ugly, if you can so describe an aural experience, it being less musical to the ear than its French and Italian counterparts. However, having now made two short trips here, I’m not so sure. Began to quite enjoy listening to it spoken. Not that I ever had a scooby what was being said, although I can pick out a few important words, like schokolade.
Approaching Frankfurt by air, we flew over a lot of forest – the Black Forest? If it was, I daresay it’s pretty black from the interior, but from above it’s unremittingly green, apart from little pockets of deciduous trees which are various shades of brown. I am a big fan of the effect autumn has on trees, and love driving through Perthshire at this time of year, with the browns, reds and golds so evident. However, when viewed from above and appearing in little areas surrounded by evergreens, it puts me in mind of slightly-out-of-date broccoli. Speaking of outdated food, I recently discovered some flour in my cupboard – with a best before date of December 1999. I think it may have been for making pancakes about 8 years ago.
When I arrive back in Edinburgh I’ll go back in to the office for the afternoon, being a dedicated, conscientious soul. Going away on work trips on my own tends to make me slightly nervous, as on my return my boss Stephen wants (understandably) to hear any news from the trips – vis à vis new products, industry gossip etc etc. This usually goes a bit like this:
SF: “So how was the trip Andy?”
AQ: “Uh, yeah, it was good, thanks”
SF: “How was the exhibition?”
AQ, brain temporarily freezing over: “Em, yeah, it was good – Unitron had an ice hockey shooting competition, Phonak had a golfing green with a giant screen full of people, who all stood up and cheered when you holed a putt”
SF: “Any new products/what’s happening in the industry…”
AQ: Uh, no, don’t think so, nothing much really.
Typically, two days later Stephen will mention that he’s had an email from one of our contemporaries down South, who was also at the conference, and has discovered from them that several products have been launched that will revolutionise the industry. Not to mention that several manufacturers have gone bust, Roman Abramovich has moved into hearing aids and is relocating to Scotland, and the government has abolished the NHS. That type of thing.
AQ: “Erm, yeah, I heard all that, but didn’t think it was of much interest.”
I don’t have much of a brain for business, or gossip for that matter. One is good, the other not so much. I might be rescued by that fact that Stephen’s wife Andrea has just given birth (on Tuesday) to their second child, Emily. So here’s hoping his mind’s on other things 🙂