Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Alie's annual BBQ - 2007

This is going to be a long post, folks, so bare with me... or not ;)

Yesterday, we were invited to the annual "Alie's Barbecue". Every year, Andy and Di, Alie's parents, organise a barbecue up on a nearby ridge to celebrate her birthday. Because of the unusually hot April and lack of rain, it was forbidden to grill in wooded areas. So, Andy and Di decided to go over to plan B. We got to their place early to give them a hand (a few meters walking distance) and found Mr. and Mrs. TBF there already. After a bit of chit-chat, our tasks were assigned. Orange-X would drive up with Andy to unload two car loads of drinks and cold foods and he would then stay there to stand guard.

TBF was the "Grill Doctor" or “ Dr. Weber”, armed of course with tongs and welding gloves. Mrs. TBF and I were the “BBQ-nurse” and “BBQ-trainee nurse” (also apparently called “candy girl” because of the red/white striped uniforms they wear) were responsible for feeding the two grills with a new load of sausages or carrying the perfectly cooked ones to the kitchen oven to keep warm until all were done. TBF mentioned something about a French maid’s outfit, but both Mrs. TBF and I agreed that it was not the proper attire for a BBQ. If you look carefully at the photo, you might see the sweat pearling on his forehead and his soaked bandana. Men at work??

Di had walked up to the ridge with a first group and Andy was keeping busy either accompanying the next bunch up, or then bringing new pans of sausage to grill, and making sure our glasses were filled. It was a very warm day and standing by the two Weber grills brought TBF to a sweat so that every beer he drank just seemed to evaporate through his pores. Once all sausages were done, we carried the food to the car. Just as we were loading-up, the first drops of rain came down, but only for a few minutes. The sun poked through soon after we had reached the ridge and from then on, the weather was perfect.

We knew quite a few faces already such as Rammy and John, Rita and Eric, Wendy and Alan, and Markus and Nicole, but many were new and it was fun to get to meet them all. You guys must be wondering (from my last post) where the belly buttons come in, right? I think this is what I meant by “the big kids”. Don’t ask me how or who started talking about it, but in no time, our little group started comparing belly buttons. You’ll notice that TBF took the picture because of the angle. Only the hairy belly (OX’s – of course, pushing it out for a better view) is more or less in the right focus because of his height.
Now to the high-tech part. TBF actually has a pair of very special flip-flops… with built-in bottle opener. That’s right! I know that in North-America, most beer bottles have twist tops, but many European beers still use the standard caps on beer. See? It works.

The kids had a blast too. They were playing, eating, laughing, playing again, and at some point, they decided it was too hot and started to dig out the melted ice from the coolers with the plastic cups and showering each other with it. Mrs. TBF and I were there just in time to rescue the wobbling bottles of precious wine that was still on the picnic table. We asked the kids to take out whatever bottles were left in the cooler and move to a “safer spot” with the cooler. So they continued their splashing game further away from the adults (read: so that we could act like kids without them noticing). We could very well hear the kids screaming and giggling and throwing water at each other, but then the sound came closer. The “unarmed kids” were running towards the "adult safety zone". Well, so much for the safety zone. Somehow, Sam, Di and Andy's son, was running beside a little girl and probably bumped into her. She was holding on to one of these cups filled with ice cold water. Untill... Sam accidentally bumped into her. And the cold water, you ask? You guessed it. (Drum roll) It landed right ON MY BUTT!

A shiver rand down my spine and I started laughing. The little girl felt really bad about it and apologized. I told her that it was ok. It's just water, but now she had to pose with me. Pay your dues, right? There she is. Caught 'ya!

Here are a few random pictures to keep you busy. I’m still wondering if Di was camera shy this year. She somehow she escaped all of our photos.

The girls


Rammy, Mrs. TBF and Henry


Anyway, around 7.30pm, this guy (a community official) came over to tell us that it was “Fahrverbot” (no “driving” motorized vehicles allowed). I tried to tell him that the only cars up there were to carry the stuff up and down again (of course, I stretched the truth a bit, but most of them were). I don’t know what his problem was, but he wouldn’t listen to what I said and just kept repeating: “Hier ist Farhverbot.” But, hey, no was driving at that point and the engines were not running. So we cleaned up and drove to Di and Andy’s for a few more drinks. Note: we were really good adults that evening. Really. No abuse.

Five of our “men” – now here comes the part where the adults never grow up – decided to play a round of soccer (football for the Europeans) with the 13 (!!) kids. They had fun, but…. After about an hour, we already had the first “casualty”. John had been fouled – that’s his version of it, anyway ;) - by an 11 (?) year old. He came in limping, and I do believe that it was quite painful. His ankle was already being promoted to the size of a baseball. Di immediately got an elastic bandage and ice packs. I bandaged his foot – I have discovered a new talent... probably from all my sports injuries - , but I think this one was more meant for children’s wrists than constantly swelling adult’s ankle. I ran home to get a longer bandage, but I just couldn’t find it. Damn. Always when you really need it, it disappears. So I came back with a lot of gauze and tape to at least give him some support. OX did the bandaging this time (HA! Always good to have an (ex-) physiotherapist in the house). Very professional.

Short after that incident, the kids were sent to bed and we left about half an hour after that. I went to bed and O-X came up shortly after because he had to get up at 4.30 to go to Chiasso/TI. Unfortunately, he got a fever during the night and cold sweats (NO. It wasn’t because of me – well, not this time). The next day, his legs were itching and driving him nuts. There we have the second casualty of the game. He had this before when playing in the soccer field with Sam and he must react VERY badly to some kind of plant in that field.

Anyway, that’s the end of a very fun evening with only a few minor incidents, except for John: I hope that he’s doing better.

Have a great week.


Expat Traveler said...

ok - I'm so jealous of your extra long weekend!!! Sounds like such a fun time... :)

Jul said...

Looks like fun! Well, except the ankle-hurting part.

Very sexy wet white pants! :)

Jay said...

Jeepers, looks like a fun time. How embarrassing to be outdone by an 11 year old :)

tinakala said...

Fantastic, except the drone community official. And - way to go with wet butt competition. White pants are very good for that :)

CanadianSwiss said...

ET: You'll have more to be jealous of... We have another 4 days (me 5 days) in a row coming up soon. ;)

Jul: I checked up on our patient yesterday, and apparently, his ankle is still blue and swollen, but he went golfing (although used a cart), so it's not as bad as we thought, thank goodness. And the white wet pants may be sexy, but VERY uncomfortable!

Jay: The kids are so much more agile. I'm guessing that John tried to avoid running the kid over more than Sam really fouling him ;)

Tina: Are you suggesting I should let that happen again (the wet pants)??

Ginnie said...

And a great time was had by all, in spite of the "casualties." You are always so good with your stories of what happened, CS. I love them. :)

And soon you'll have another break??!!

The Big Bear said...

Sounds like everybody had a lot of fun, soccer victims and allergy sufferers included at the time before they got into trouble. The "Fahrverbot" story sounds typically Swiss to me. There are killjoies all over the world, but the some Swiss guys perform their talent of spoiling a party with an additional bullishness factor. Enjoyed your post! Greetings from Dublin.

Ex-Shammickite said...

That sounds like a good time! And a couple of injuries just prove that everyone had fun.... except perhaps the injured parties. We had our first BBQ yesterday after helping move furniture into No2Son's new house.... mmmm BBQ burgers go down really well when you've been hoisting furniture and cardboard boxes all morning!

The Big Finn said...

Nice pictures! That was a good time, wasn't it? I still smell like smoke, and I'm still re-hydrating!
Sorry to hear about OX's ills. Maybe the soccer game should move somewhere else next time.

CanadianSwiss said...

Ginnie: Thanks. Yes, we have another long break for Ascension day.

Big-B: Yes, the Swiss Officials excell at killing the fun of a party. :)

Ex-Shammi: Even the injured had fun. Well,... until the injury :) Isn't BBQ-ing a nice reward?

TBF: Yeah, or OX sould wear long pants when he plays in that field.

christina said...

Ha ha, great post. That sounds like so much fun, wet butt or not!

Mr. Fabulous said...

You even make a wet butt seem glamorous! What a great time it looks like y'all had!

CanadianSwiss said...

Christina: The wet butt was past of the whole fun. I was even kinda thinking I should join in the kids' party.

Fab: Oh, but(t) it IS glamourous! ;)

Michael said...

Sounds like you had an amazing time!