Summer Scrapbook: Barbecue
Every year we hold a barbecue, and every year I have visions of making it a beautiful occasion.
When I say beautiful (please note: the meaning can only be correctly conveyed by putting the word into italics), I am picturing this, or this. I truly believe that such thought and effort (a) make for fabulous photos, (b) improve one’s memories of such an occasion and (c) make everyone go ‘ooh’ (in a good way).
I also believe it takes a lot of work. Not just hours, but days. And the wonderful people who achieve such beauty are, to all appearances at least, rather high up on the keeping-the-house-tidy ladder. Whereas I, of course, though not quite rock bottom, am only one or two rungs up, and the grocery delivery man would probably put me in the basement when the kitchen was especially filthy last week.
So, much as I would love to create a vision of beauty in my back garden every summer, realistically it’s all I can manage to make the ground floor vaguely tidy, the garden a little less of a jungle (loved one comes in handy for that particular task), and maybe find some old birthday bunting and stick it up.
Then everyone turns up. They know us and our relaxed and informal attitude, and they know what to expect. And they get a remarkably different experience to the garden parties mentioned above; visually the stimulation is poor at best. And I don’t get an opportunity to be smug, nor are my creative juices given much opportunity to flow.
But that’s not necessarily a terrible thing. The focus is on socialising and just enjoying being with friends.
And we had a really nice time. Well, I did anyway. I love that barbecues are such a leveller. Nobody is putting on any airs and graces (not that we have friends who would, you understand), and everyone just enjoys spending time together.
One day, however, I really do intend to manage a beautiful garden party (inotice how I am incapable of putting the word ‘barbecue’ next to my adjective of choice?). And I will keep these inspirational little ideas to hand, just in case.
And despatch the kids to a grandparent of choice for a full week beforehand, because one thing is utterly certain. It’s never going to happen any other way.