This weekend, I am accompanying my wife to some industry black tie dinner in Frankfurt. Speeches will be:
a) On the pharmacy industry
b) In German
Entertainment will be provided by:
a) Ronan Keating.
b) Seriously. Ronan bloody Keating.
Because I am there to escort my wife, and because some of the most important people in the industry will be there, it will probably be bad form if I get drunk and throw up on her billionaire boss's shoes. That said, there must surely be a happy medium between "depressingly sober" and "horrifically and embarrassingly drunk". There had better be: to keep my sanity, I think I must find it.
We went through the planned agenda for the evening earlier, and apparently, at the end of the evening - well, before the disco dancing to David Hasslehoff records - there is a "night cup". This, I'm informed, is the German version of a nightcap.... presumably the Germans liked it as a concept but are too logical to consider a "cap" an appropriate vessel for a drink and adapted the expression from the original so that it made more sense. Also on the agenda was the news that, whilst the conference VIPs are attending a series of no-doubt fascinating talks in the afternoon, the hotel salon will be available all day for the wives to have their hair done and other assorted beauty treatments.
Tempting though the beauty salon and the chance to have a good natter with the other wives might be, I think that I may instead find myself a bar and start taking the edge off the evening with a stein or two of excellent German beer.
Someone at work asked me today which airport we were flying from. I have no idea. My job is simply to turn up and support my clever wife.
...and to look beautiful, although I think that goes without saying.