Tuesday, June 01, 2004


The recent holiday weekend saw all manner of exciting activities.

Not really. However, I did attend a barbecue. Yes, look impressed, the Colonel is quite the socialite, what?

The modern barbecue is a peculiar affair. A bunch of chaps gather around the flames, wantonly incinerating a fridge full of sausages, chops, chicken and steaks. The ladyfolk prepare dips and enormous trays of sliced carrots that unfailingly curl and wilt untouched, to be thrown out the next day.

The usual form is to fill the bathtub with cold water and float several hundred bottles and cans of multipack lager, which the men aggressively try to drink their way through. The ladies stick to sweet white or rose wine, consuming just enough to become tearful and accusatory by closing time. Coincidentally, it is about this time folk tend to wish they had gone to the pub rather than stood half-kippered in someone's back garden with a bunch of dullards discussing wood flooring or endowment policies.

By this time, seizing my opportunity, much like Field Marshal Rommel might have done, I had beaten a timely retreat to my local hostelry.

Sunday saw the rain and the sunshine taking turns to confound and delight the populace. An ideal day for an outdoor music festival, then.

There was a free festival taking place near the local river. Of course, being free, this meant that the acts were, shall we say, shite. A bald troubadour strumming an acoustic guitar here, a couple of hairy yokels murdering blues standards there, all the usual suspects were on show. When you added to this the prospect of drinking weak lager from a plastic glass, it was with a spring in my step that I concurred with my companions wishes to make our excuses and leave. Who knows what manner of impassioned female chanteuses and "hey-nonny" chanting folk types we may have had to endure. It almost made one long for the David Gray and Chili Peppers dirges the local oafs insist on selecting on the jukebox of the local tavern.


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