BBQ Madness

Yesterday, on the third attempt, I went to a successful barbecue at one of my clients.

I have been to two others in the past, but the first was freezing cold, and the second contained so much rain that most of the cooking was done indoors.

As a vegetarian, barbecues are a nightmare. In fact, at most barbecues I don’t eat anything. Maybe I’ll have some of the salad on offer, but in order to do so I have to make sure I get started quickly. The risk of cross-contamination is too great…

Yesterday, I think I got away with it, but it’s always close. Really, I just shouldn’t chance it at all. My veggie burgers got cooked first, and with separate utensils, but there is always the danger of fat spitting. The thought of eating anything remotely meaty knocks me sick these days, having been a veggie for what must be around 15 years now.

What made it all so successful though was the weather. The weather has been stunning now for over a week. Everyone has noted how weird the weather has been, and continues to be these days. January mild, then snow. February, freezing cold. March, unbeliveably warm. April, ridiculous cold and wet. May, exactly the same, and then suddenly in the last six days, a wild swing into Mediterranean warmth.

So I got to sit for nearly eight hours out in the sunshine, eating, drinking, socialising… although the socialising was a little difficult as I don’t know many people there. But I did get to complete one of my life’s ambitions by riding a spacehopper. Oh yeah. And yes, I did put on lots of sun tan lotion. So glad I did, because the only bit of me where I kind of didn’t reach – the top of my forehead where the hair is a little bit thin – is a bit red this morning. The rest of me is fine.

It’s nice to do something different like that. I should try and get out and do more things, but it won’t happen without friends, and as I’ve noted many times now, friends are pretty hard to come by in my line of work. People only want to see you when it’s convenient for them. And it’s all very professional…

One unexpected negative of the BBQ though was the presence of local children. Not that there’s anything negative about children per se, but local children in the place I go to means something. They are pretty mean, let’s just say. They think nothing of using their fists and kicking you if you try to wind them up or torment them. Which is inevitable when the day involves water, a paddling pool, a spacehopper and a game invented by one of the parents that involved collecting one of literally hundreds of those colourful small plastic balls you find in most paddling pools…

So I got kicked and punched twice for daring to hide one of the balls in my back pocket so I could influence the game. They take no prisoners. Being a military area, there is no real surprise in that. But it makes you wonder what kind of violence they’ve seen at home. They just go straight for you.

Of course, the presence of water also meant that everyone got drenched. Including me… when someone chucked a whole kitchen sink full of it at me. It was also icy cold, as it was the water from the ice buckets that were keeping the beers cool! I knew it was coming, it was a matter of time as I heard some conspiring going on. But what annoyed me was that when it actually happened, I didn’t expect it at all, even though I was trying to be on my guard. Just goes to show how easy it is to let your attention slip…

Still, it’s Sunday… I’ve been up since 6:30am due to being unable to sleep any more, and I have work to do. Both professional and domestic. And the sun’s shining. Bah.

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