I have spent the weekend eating. In my defence, it wasn’t covertly, alone in my room, having pretended to the nice lady at the Waitrose checkout that I was having a party. It was in public, with my friends. On Saturday, I had my second ever engagement party. (Yes, I’ve been dragged to engagement parties as a child, but this was different. This time, I was actually invited). I arrived late (not because I am impossibly rude, but because, as I had dutifully warned the hostess, I was working in the morning). ‘Hello!’ I said cheerfully to whoever opened the door. ‘Which way is the food?’ I headed out to the garden, ignoring the laden plates of salads.
(Only idiots get waylaid by salads. This was certainly not my first BBQ). I stood at the entrance to the garden. I could see the BBQ, glimmering hopefully in the background. But first I had to make it there.
The garden was littered with my friends. I put on my sunglasses to protect myself. I took a deep breath, put my head down, and started out towards the BBQ. ‘Hello!’ I said vaguely to the people I passed. Some of them tried to talk to me. ‘What would Liam Neeson do?’ I muttered to myself. ‘Well, he probably wouldn’t have worn heels,’ I scolded myself, as I got stuck in the lawn.
I reached the BBQ. For a moment, I was confused. I thought, distantly, that I might have made a terrible faux pas. What if, even though I’d arrived late, no-one had started eating yet? I was surrounded by meat.
I surreptitiously snuck a look behind me, and relaxed. Everyone had eaten. My hosts had clearly used this engagement party as an opportunity to help spend the UK out of the recession. I began to pile my plate as high as possible. (Which, in case any one is wondering, is very high. It’s all a matter of building a solid base of similar-sized sausages).
‘Happy engagement,’ I mumbled to my friend through a mouthful of burger. ‘I now see why you wanted to get married. The food here is fantastic.’ My friend laughed, but I saw the gleam of delight in her eyes as her fiance approached us with pudding.