What started out as only an averagely tedious conversation about toast, prompted by Rory admitting he’d achieved nothing all day – apart from painting a bit of the ceiling and watching it dry – other than get up and eat breakfast, plumbed new depths of banality after about 20 minutes when more of the boys arrived in the steam room.
Rory, Nick and I had already pretty much exhausted the possibilities of a conversation involving the relative merits of Marmite, peanut butter and mozzarella cheese as toast toppings, and there seemed a chance of the topic dying a natural death. Then Tim and Nigel arrived and gave the subject fresh impetus by proposing, respectively, porridge and teacakes as viable breakfast alternatives. We debated this for a while but like any controversial subject there was never going to be consensus and we had to agree to differ.
Then we got onto more radical issues with Honey As A Toast Topping: is Manuka Better Or Is It All a Bit of a Con. Tim, our resident bee-keeping expert, said this was a moot point among apiarists but in any event you should opt for a locally-grown honey rather than the sugar-laden muck they import from China.
There was one other female present for a while, when the discussion in the spa pool veered off onto the difference between cous cous, semolina and polenta, but she left after a while, perhaps for fear of falling asleep in the water. I still don’t know the difference – Rory and Nick said it didn’t matter ‘cause they wouldn’t eat it anyway as you can’t get it in Iceland and it sounded too much like hard work in the kitchen when you can just bung a ready meal in the microwave.
The departure of Semolina Lady left me alone with the boys, who steered the subject back to Toast – The Perils of Burning Thereof and the little-known fact that Americans brown only one side of their bread (Is this true? Ed.)
Nigel confided to me that he’d once been in the sauna with a female who said she couldn’t believe the conversation attained such peaks of banality. She’d been under the impression that, given the chance, men like to talk about football and cars. Hearing our lot must have been quite an education for her, bless ‘em.