In Steve’s absence: The Bank Holiday BBQ.

This time it was the famous five: Andrew, Linda, Barney, Kirsty and Sam (in order of importance). Barney was lighting the BBQ as Andrew and I arrived. There was an element of panic in Andrew’s gait as he realised that Barney may not have used the right amount of charcoal. I was bringing up the rear with a glut of tomatoes, some dips and a cardigan.
Panic! We’d forgotten the tomato ketchup and Hoi Sin sauce (if this were a proper blog we’d get revenue for advertising Stokes sauces. Hey ho!). I tried ringing Adam (an ex-junior allotment member) about 5 times before I got a response. I knew that the only way forward was monetary benefit. “Would you bring the tomato ketchup, Hoi Sin sauce and the factor 30? I’ll pay you…”
The culinary line up was fine, as always. Pitta “off” and a Hum “off” and some delicious bread that Linda had made. There were pork kebabs and peanut sauce. Halloumi and peanut sauce. Sausages in Hoisin sauce, dipped in peanut sauce. Pitta dipped in peanut sauce. Marinated lamb, with peanut sauce. Chicken marinated in yoghurt was oh so much better with peanut sauce.
Linda had made a Satay sauce. It’s made with peanuts. It was nice.
The drinks were flowing by now: a white Rioja, some carefully selected wines from Steve (a Lambrusco and a Riesling) a red Greek wine (because the Softleys are embarking on their first Greek holiday and wanted everyone to feel as miserable) and some alcopops concocted by Linda: “It’s Irn Bru, honest…”
Conversation turned to other things: the hell of boarding schools that don’t resemble Hogwarts, why you shouldn’t (or should) mix Pimms with sparkling wine. The benefits of being able to drink Yquem and Bollinger Grande Anne, or Dom Perignon. Ports of various types. It weirdly rained. It was a bit like Eeyore’s little rain cloud but it was a refreshing break from relentless sun. Sam solved the mystery – it was someone’s hosepipe from about 5 miles away. Linda was sceptical.
What is Angelica and why is Andrew wearing it?
The pizza oven still hasn’t been built.
Sam stabbed her hand on a skewer and had real blood. It was a proper allotment emergency that could only be solved by an allotment selfie.
A community allotment French holiday is in the pipeline: Sam is organising it.

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