A couple of weekends ago I hosted a BBQ as a sort of housewarming-birthday gathering type shindig. I told people to arrive from 7pm, so I had plenty of time during the day to tidy and shop and prepare and go round Mutti and Vati's house to steal provisions and water the plants (as they had gone away). I actually wrote out a very comprehensive shopping list and made it to the supermarket for 11.30am (amazing, considering that's when I would normally wake up on a Saturday). I was very glad I was there at that time, as there was precious little BBQ food left!
(One thing you should understand about the UK is that we are very predictable people. As we get so little sunshine, as soon as that sun does pop out, everybody - and I mean everybody - rushes to their local supermarket to buy as much BBQ food as possible. We then spend the rest of the day hoping it won't rain, and then stubbornly persist with our BBQs even when it does.)
So I had to resort to buying the most expensive burgers (the only ones left), but, no biggie, I had told everyone to bring food too, so I only bought a pack of eight and some sausages.
Oh yeah, what's the most important thing you need to host a BBQ? How about... An Actual Barbeque. Oh yes, I had to buy and assemble one of those. The instructions said it would take about an hour, but it was closer to two. And I had an alarming number of screws left over at the end. Oh well, it stood up fine. And, I even had a second, teeny tiny BBQ for my veggie friends (I was kindly given this one by my Nan, so no assembly required).
And oh yeah, what's that other thing you need to have a BBQ? Matches to light it? Oh yeah! Totally didn't have any of those, but no worries, surely Mutti and Vati would have some at their house. By this time it was about 4pm. Do you know how many matches they had. Six. And I had two BBQs to light.
Oh well, six was better than none. Back home to set up al fresco dining and clean the bathroom, run the vacuum cleaner round etc etc. Started preparing the salad. I was all set to start grating the carrots for the salad when I realised I don't have a vegetable peeler. So I wasted about half of each carrot trying to peel it with a knife.
It was only when I was about to put all the chairs outside that I realised I hadn't mowed the lawn. Thankfully this task is getting slightly less embarrassing now that I have done it a few times, but it's still not very nice. So off I went in some sensible footwear (not) and was doing a grand old job, until I reached the back of the garden aka the weed patch aka the corner of doom. And I turned right into the patch of bramble.
Never mind, I finished preparations just in the nick of time. Everything was good. Except, oh wait, I didn't have a bottle opener. Like, seriously? How?
(I could also now tell the story of my hectic evening last week when I decided it would be fun to not fill my car up and then do two hours worth of driving and have to follow a diversion wondering if I would actually make it to my destination with the fuel light flashing at me... but maybe I'll save that story.)
Overall, it was a pretty good evening. It was a bit touch and go when the wind kept blowing the matches out trying to light the BBQ, but we got there in the end. I drank too much Pimms, and we sat outside until about 1am as the night was so mild. I would consider it a success.
But really, I must get my act together. How have I made it this far in life?