Editor’s Note: This week Alex ventures into his back yard for a barbeque …
It’s funny how we are in this country, and we are indeed the subject for plenty of laughter. It’s barbeque weather in England and so it’s time to switch off those TV’s, for an hour at least, and head out into the excitement of the garden, or in the case of my place – The little concrete square with walls around it.
Yes the sun is blasting out as if we never had to endure a five month winter period (cold, what cold?), and sales for anything relating to barbeques and sunbathing go sky-high without a drop of rain to be seen smudging our precious receipts . Even as traditional demands for barbeque-based fun is already apparent, to my shock the cheapest disposable barbeque I’ve seen is around £6, and meat isn’t too cheap either. I remember paying as little as £2 for a basic set as recent as three years ago, but who can blame businesses for cashing in on the summer-lovin’ frenzy? We are merely just the disgruntled masses, lapping up the sunshine unnecessarily topless, with flip flops and extremely short shorts.
This evening my brother and I will board the bandwagon and have a little barbeque of our own. The heat is searing, my mouth is watering, but my pockets are giving me puzzled looks because let’s face it, unless you have brilliant barbequing equipment you’re really just attempting to go camping outside your own backdoor. It’s more economical, straightforward and cleaner to cook and eat indoors. But less of the cynicism! After going through the motions of moving the table, chairs and kitchen stuff outside, and making a complete mess, we’re going to have some delicious, fatty burgers! (I said less of the cynicism).
Honestly, though, I really do enjoy the food with a cold beer. It’s worth it for the change of scenery. The best thing to accompany a plate of sizzling meat and crispy salad is some good music coming out of a decent pair of stereo speakers, but I live in a built-up family area and have elderly neighbours so I believe think that to be really bad manners, especially when the most popular music of today is usually being played at high volumes. Instead, I’ll stick on some softer piano concertos, as I’m obviously so ‘hip’.
I’m not sure of any other countries or cultures who behave quite the same when the sun comes out. Everyone here is immensely pleased but it’s not too long before the complaining starts (It’s too hot!). I suppose the closest thing I can think of is college kids in America at the time of ‘Spring Break’, with people going crazy for beach wear and drunken summer antics, but we don’t really have any beaches or a relentless enthusiasm for fun. But we do have fun and we spend, spend, spend over the summery months. Although, unlike the winter we’re not stocking up on stodgy foods and woolly jumpers, we’re buying all sorts of things we don’t need, like funny hats and tie-dye t-shirts.
To conclude I can guess I can say these really are the best times – for reptiles. The days are long and the humidity is swarming. Those of us in work barely get to enjoy any of it and those of us who aren’t also wish it was cooler so we can get some house-work done without fainting down to the floor in a heap from intense dizziness. It’s the English way to be surprisingly unprepared for any sort of weather, but remain endlessly chipper about the occasion of sunshine, and so it’s off out to the shop to grab the goods off the shelves as if the perils of a mild autumn await us the following day.
I personally prefer it to be cold. No, when it’s hot. No, definitely the cold, but it’s nicer when it’s hot, with a breeze. A cool breeze, that’s cold…
Party on, dudes.