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Barbecue bummer

by Bernard, the Editor


No home barbecue is complete without the traditional disguising of the barely-cooked meat with fried onions, brown sauce and flames

photo: Quaelin

There are some things that are staples of the British summer: the number of exam passes always rises, some speccy little swot with seventeen As at A-level gets passed over for university in favour of party animals other students actually want to share halls with, and the tabloid press run any story they can find for fear people won’t buy newspapers during the month or so where there isn’t any news.

And, every year, I have a barbecue. I can normally only manage one, because it takes so long for the stupid coals to get hot enough to actually cook a burger I tend to get a bit bored and try to chivvy them along with some lighter fluid, and end up setting light to the washing line and then Mrs Bernard says she wishes she’d just buckled down and cooked and does her put-upon face until we all end up going off to Burger King instead.

This year, though, I was full of joy: the Met Office swore blind that Britain was going to bask in an eight-week heatwave and faced with the rare chance for two months of culinary cookouts we dumped the creaking three-legged wobbly old barbie in a skip and got a new one. Well, I say ‘we got a new one’ what I mean is ‘Mrs Bernard sent me to B&Q to spend my June pay on a deluxe triple-gas-hob BBQ with year’s supply of Calor.’

‘Britain is odds on, facing a barbecue summer, probably, unless it isn’t. Actually it’s around a 65% chance, make sure you explain that in your headline or we’ll never hear the end of it. OK, at least mention it in the subheadline. Somewhere in the body of the story? Hey, where did everybody go after I uttered the words “barbecue summer”?’

The Met Office

Have I used it? The Hell I have. Those cloud-spotting cretins promised me a long hot summer with no rain, and what did they give me? A solitary sunny Saturday that I wasted at a garden centre because I couldn’t decide which funny apron to get!

Small wonder, then, that the public have been demanding to know how we got from an ‘odds-on barbecue summer’ to bailing out the toolshed with a trowel. Honestly, the kind of downpours we’ve been having in Pickton you’d think there’d been another Flood, not an insignificant 35% chance of rain! Where's that bloody 65% chance now, eh?! On bloody holiday in Barbados, that's where!

And now, those clowns at the Met Office are trousering as much as an extra £650 a year! (A year! In a recession!!) That really winds me right up, that does. That’s enough to bail out a very, very, very small bank!

Anyway that’s not the point. The point is that the weather-clowns got it wrong again, and have ruined the summer for everyone. Especially me. Anyone want an unused titanium and carbon fibre BBQ–grill combo with side-burner from GlassoCo Cookworks? I’m willing to take a barometer in part-exchange.

Love and kisses,

Bernard, the Editor.


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