Another rendezvous, another venue, another mad-hatter-teaparty-of-sorts-with-lots-of-noise-food-wine-and-chatter.
Very loud chatter.
So loud, in fact, that Belfast Blonde's new husband had been forewarned and told he might - possibly - require ear muffs. He was 'in residence', you see, a reward for Kevin's past good behaviour so that we could finally meet this man who had snared one of our own.
He cooked and fed us all, so he definitely got the thumbs up.
One thing about being a bookclub now into its seventeenth year is that aside from us having become great friends and spent an inordinate amount of time drinking wine and eating copious quantities of food, we also appear to have become somewhat deaf.
Especially when it comes to numbers.
"How many books have we read in all over the years?"
"Two per meeting, about eight meetings a year..."
"How many per meeting?"
"Is it two?"
"I just said that."
"Oh. So how many meetings?"
"But how many weeks between meetings?"
"Six? I thought seven?"
"How many weeks in a year?"
*brief pause while seven normally intelligent women do some mental maths*
"So about one hundred and seventy books then!"
"Yes, about two hundred odd!"
"How many? Two hundred and fifty?"
"Who has kept a record?"
"The black book..."
"It's blue now."
"Which book? Is that new?"
"About one hundred and seventy."
"I have a tally of all the books!"
(I actually did a proper calculation: the correct answer is two hundred and twenty-nine...ish)
And then it came down to deciding which books to select for the next meeting.
"How many have we got to choose from?"
"Six, you can all vote for your favourite."
"But we have two votes!"
"We vote twice for each book?"
"No, we vote twice for separate books."
"With the same vote? Does that count twice?"
"One vote per book."
"That's six votes!"
"Six votes each?"
"Two votes each!"
"One of the books is the third in a series. Have we read the previous two?"
"No. But we could add those..."
"We could read the first one first though..."
"So how many books?"
"I'm replacing the third in the series with the first in the series..."
"Do we vote on that one too?"
"I'm voting twice."
"How many votes?"
"Do we put our hands up?"
"Who's counting? Anyone have a pen?"
Anyway. We cast votes. Some Kevinettes may have cheated.
We laughed. We ate. We drank. We toasted the new husband and his gorgeous wife's good health.
And we chose two new books to read.
I think we've all agreed on the same ones.
I might have mis-heard.