This one nearly didn’t happen.
With the weather forecast apparently set fair for the foreseeable future, and having missed the last barbecue because of scout camp, I was keen not to miss another opportunity.
However, we (I say we, I haven’t actually touched it, so it’s very much a collective ‘we’) are in the process of dismantling the shed (the one that Barney set fire to last year – see ‘Barney the Arsonist’) in readiness for its replacement, which means there is quite a lot of dismantled shed lying about the place. It was therefore felt by some that there would not be the room to hold a barbecue. Somewhat miffed, but undaunted, I proposed a picnic instead. This was deemed acceptable and a general invite was issued, to which no one responded.
By Saturday, therefore, my best laid plans were looking somewhat tattered as I made my way down to the allotment. Having picked some blackcurrants and done a bit of weeding I sat down for tea, at which point Barney enquired about the picnic plans. ‘It seems that no one wants to go on a picnic’, I replied. ‘So why don’t we have a barbecue?’ said Andrew. A quick look at the patio led to the conclusion that there was indeed room to hold one safely and so it was determined that a barbecue would go ahead on Sunday at 4. ??!!
Freezers were consequently raided, Halloumi dragged from the back of the fridge (keeps forever), baking done and between us we cobbled together a decent repast by Sunday afternoon (though Andrew and Kirsty left their Halloumi behind).
The barbecue was easily lit thanks to the various slivers and chunks of deconstructed shed that were lying about, which made excellent kindling. I am now slightly more inclined to believe Barney’s story about the random spark setting fire to it last year (not 100% but…).
During the course of the next few hours the usual ragbag of bizarre and irrelevant subjects was pored over. Killing Eve (again), the teaching of grammar (like, what even is the present perfect tense?), dogs (though I promised Barney not to write that one up in any depth) and whether Kirsty is my twin or Sam’s twin or some kind of hybrid of both (no, me either).
The Glastonbury festival, concluding even as we spoke, cropped up, with Barney turning out to be the only one amongst us who had ever been, though he was somewhat hazy about which year it was and who was playing for some reason. Further reflection led to the conclusion that it was 1987, enabling Kirsty to download the list of performers for that year and read them out so Barney could say, ‘really?…no, don’t remember them….how did I miss them?….Really?’ He claims to definitely remember meeting Robyn Hitchcock, who the rest of us initially assumed was a friend of his from University or something but who further searching revealed to be a bona fide musician who was on the bill, so who knows, maybe Barney really was there.
In any event, by the end of this I had somehow acquired a necklace which Kirsty deemed necessary to complete my festival outfit. Admittedly I had shorts on, but no wellies and no Madchester 1990 flowerpot hat, so I’m not quite sure why she thought I was wearing a festival outfit at all, but there’s no arguing with some people. I am now tasked to retain said necklace and wear it at the scout Jamboree in Vienna in 2020 into the bargain. At some point I might ask why.