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Freya’s 9th birthday, and the annual barbecue

As the title says, we had our annual barbecue at the weekend, for Freya’s 9th birthday, which actually happened on Tuesday. I think my dog is now something like 61 in human terms, bless her. I can’t believe time has passed so quickly.


I had a really good time at the party. Kadek came up the day before to generally hang out and help me set up the garden. The gazebo would not actually be standing without her duct tape skills, for the frame is very broken. I’m hoping I can find a replacement frame, because the cover is pretty much fine.

I am still very excited that Ozzy came to the barbecue too because he’s such a lovely boy. On the actual BBQ night I tried to stay up in the garden with Kadek, but I wound up feeling sick and had to go to bed at some point, I believe after 4am but I’m not sure. I feel very uncool about that anyway.

All the cleaning and physical preparation I’d been doing for the event came down on me like a ton of bricks towards the end of it. I slept most of the next day, and then Monday and Tuesday involved having a burning feeling, like the lactic acid burn of anaerobic respiration, but all over my body, even in my neck. It happens to me sometimes when I’ve really burnt myself out. And today I was just in bed ill until very late in the afternoon. Thankfully Will was at home anyway so I didn’t have to worry about feeding the dog or anything.



Many strawberries!
A tidy house!
Setting up the garden.
A bow-legged gazebo!
Dinner fajitas.
Cat prints on our table!
The beginnings of the awesome table set-up.
I hung up the tealight holder that Jane got me for my birthday, unfortunately it enjoyed throwing itself on the ground. I think it’s still fine but I can’t trust the chain.
The lights just make the entire garden.
Behold the earrings of the Lord ?
A sexy cooler!
Beautiful babies.
I love this toucan windsock but other people did not!!
This wasn’t even everything that ended up going on there.
Will’s mum made some stuff for us too!
The fiery ketchup is fucking bitchin’ by the way.
One of the best post-event things is having amazing food left over for dinners.
Day 3 curls were actually very OK!
I’m so glad the sunflowers are doing this well.
And hopefully these are the peppers and not some weeds.
Many strawberries: reprise.
Freya’s present is a Nylabone that says “Happy Birthday” on it, although the shape is a bit weird.
But at least she likes it.


Below are some of the photos that Kadek took, they’ve come out here in a random order for some reason.

Because I was casting Spotify to Katy’s wireless speaker, if I used my phone to take photos, it would have made the sound dip a lot and obviously interrupted the vibe. It still did dip a bit when I got notifications, because it didn’t occur to me to switch those off at the time.

I actually got these lights to put on our wedding table but they were obviously appropriate for a barbecue too.
We’re lucky that table didn’t just fall down.


Will made “armadillos,” which were jalapenos with Philadelphia inside, probably something else, all wrapped in bacon. They were FUCKING AMAZING.
This burger rack from Asda is the bee’s knees.
Beautiful birthday girl.
Alcohol has taken effect.
Me enjoying an armadillo pepper thing.
Me risking lighting my hair on fire while leaning over a tealight. I’m no better than Hungary’s Eurovision contestant!

Thanks Kadek for the loan of her food umbrella, I have inexplicably misplaced mine even though it is blessed with the insignia of the Lord ?.

I recall being impressed around this time because Jez and Rob knew Eurovision lyrics!!
I don’t remember the moment this picture was taken, but I can only assume I thought it was possible to poke that bubble on the left from where I was sitting. At least I was clearly having a good time.
So many men all in jeans!
Before the alcohol struck.
The chiminea! Once again the multicolour flames did not want to show up on camera.
Bubbles are super fun and this time we didn’t have to blow them ourselves.
I’m so glad Ozzy was there, he’s so lovely. 


Obviously I love hosting, and doing stuff outdoors, and barbecues, and my dog, and these things all come together at this time of year, but it was especially really nice to see my friend who not only understands the joys of hosting but also enjoys drunkenly yelling along to Eurovision songs. I am under no illusion that I can sing; I can hold a note but not necessarily the right note!

Anyway, barbecues are really great and I hope we still have a couple of smaller ones before the year is out. Must buy less food next time though.

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