Chefs, soldiers & sounds: Hoole Summer BBQ

On Friday when the office doors shut behind me and I took a deep breath of freedom to my lungs my phone started immediately buzzing. Hubby had been recruited to cook some burgers and hot dogs at the annual Hoole Community BBQ and he needed help. Well, he didn’t really need my help, but he thought I’d like to be involved and of course I did. I’m usually not allowed in the kitchen when he’s cheffing about (“what’s that?” “what are you doing?” “is that safe?”) so I was excited to be a part of a cooking exercise, even if I wasn’t going to be doing any cooking myself.


Hubby and Christine at their stall


So my job was to help people part from their pennies for the delicious pork and apple burgers, but I’ll admit straight away that I was a very bad recruit and found myself wandering around the BBQ fest area in search of exciting acts, foods and drinks more than standing at under the gazebo taking money from people. Lucky Hubby wasn’t left alone to feed the masses, but had a wonderful lady called Christine to help him… which made me feel a lot less guilty.


The talented House of Dance dancers


I arrived a little late to the party, the doors to the BBQ opened at around five in the afternoon and at that time I had just finished at the office, and by the time I arrived the party was in full swing. The youngsters of House of Dance strutted their stuff and Wolf (winners of Hoole’s Got Talent show) made me laugh uncontrollably with their constantly changing attire (they went the full nine yards from Abba to Michael Jackson to Adam Ant) and impressive harmonies.


Wolf - image by Nottinghoole


I peeked in the petting area with giant reptiles and feasted on amazing coffee cake. I tasted a newly launched beer from the winner of the Best Local Brewery award (Deva Craft Beer) and desperately hunted for some lemonade until I realised the booth which sold some was right next to the one I was supposed to man with hubby. Oops.


I sneakily checked out all the other food stalls too to make sure the burgers and hot dogs hubby was lovingly grilling were the best (market research, you understand) and whereas the porky delights from Pen Y Lan Pork were amazing the beefy burgers from the Suburbs crew were to die for.


I promise this opinion is by no means endorsed by the fact that Ainsley Harriot himself hung out at their grill for a while.


Ainsley Harriott with the Suburbs crew


Speaking of Ainsley, a long-time dream of hubby’s came true when Ainsley popped in to our humble little stall to taste the produce and hubby got to introduce himself and shake hands with one his cheffing inspirations. They exchanged a few words before I ushered them into a photo together. Hubby will probably cherish this photo more than our wedding photos and I am OK with that.


Hubby and Ainsley Harriot


Finally, when the grills came off and the food was consumed, hubby and I managed to get our boogie on to the rhythms of the last music acts and sang our hearts out when they played a tune from Bon Jovi. It wasn’t just us, everyone else was in on it, too. Living on a Prayer, like.


Last sups of beer and the party was over. Or, that part of the party was. Most people had the intention of continuing the festivities at the Suburbs until the early hours of the morning, but Hubby and I were exhausted and I could hear my bed call me from a few blocks away.


Roman Soldiers


What I was left with was this warm and fuzzy feeling of our community coming together to celebrate all the things that unite us rather than divide us. The Nottinghoole team is made of a bunch of volunteers who do what they do out of sheer love towards their neck of the woods, and they deserve a massive pat on the back for a job well done.


Maybe next year hubby will make his handmade pork pies to sell at a stall of his own. And maybe this time I’ll actually be of some help.




Did you pop over to the Hoole Summer BBQ? Let me know in the comments.