Barbecue time!

I finished building our barbecue a little sooner than I thought I would, and we had our first barbecue at our new house on Saturday.

First, I defrosted some ribs.

 And cut them up.

Next step is to put them into the newly made (because we have not barbecued for almost two years) rib marinade. It’s based on a sachet of Chinese style red-cooked pork spices, with various appropriate additions. The ribs are boiled in the marinade for twenty minutes. The marinade is now in the freezer, waiting for the next batch of ribs. It improves each time it is used….

The barbecue will probably never be this clean again. In due course, which means when we have enough money, there will be some nice slate paving around the barbecue, but at the moment I’m relying on temporary duck-boards to stop me sinking into the mud.

I have money to burn, you know. I use this joss money from my friends at Wai Yee Hong to light the barbecue. It’s as close as I get to spirituality.

The fire took an age to light, probably something to do with the charcoal being damp, or something like that. Can you forget how to light a barbecue? Aargh!

Anyway, eventually, we had fire, and there was much rejoicing. No, the barbecue wasn’t falling over. It’s probably an artistic choice by the photographer.

Here we see the dual function feature. Ribs cooking, and hand warming at the same time.

We also had lemon and herb chicken on sticks, but I seem to have forgotten to photograph them in all the excitement.

More fire time than food to cook! Much better than the other way round.

And then it went dark. Happy eaters went indoors, feeling pleasantly full.

More soon, even if it’s really cold out there.

I had really missed barbecuing…

Time to reflect, before we carry on.

My Mum and Dad liked children. At least, I suppose they did, because they had five of us. They did a good job of teaching us many important things, including compassion, thinking carefully about things, and cookery. Once, when I expressed pleasure that some unusually revolting public figure had died, Mum told me off. “He was some woman’s son”, she said.

The building site next door has been quiet today. They have been given the day off, because today is the fiftieth anniversary of the Aberfan Disaster. I was 17 when it happened, and I wept for hours. Thinking about it today, it is still hard to hold back the tears.

The slip of waste coal killed 144 people, including 116 children, who were in the school next to the tip. A hundred and sixteen children. A fund was set up to help, not that there is any way money can compensate for the loss of even a single child, let alone a hundred and sixteen.

Today, fifty years on, as people here quietly remember this disaster, we have millionaires who own tabloid newspapers, and pay truly horrible journalists to write pieces in which they mock the drowning of children fleeing from wars, and claim they were “staged”. When we help refugees, they write demanding the children be X-rayed to prove they are children.

It is not easy to cope with the vicious, right-wing, unpleasantness that is now so common in the UK. It is very depressing to see what so many of us have descended to, after being the heroic nation that helped to save Europe from fascism. But I shall not give up. I shall continue to urge politicians, above all, but everyone else as well, to be decent. 

Comments are off because, sadly, I am only too familiar with the sort of response that thugs make to articles of this kind.