The Great Aussie Barbeque

by mutteringhousewife

One of our favourite bits of our house is the large shady verandah out the back. It overlooks the pool, the miniature soccer field, is handy to the kitchen and outside bathroom, enjoys a gentle afternoon breeze. It is the perfect place for a barbeque. Sadly, our barbeque burned to the ground shortly before Christmas.

Well, not literally to the ground. It had been quietly falling to pieces for some time. Dear husband didn’t want it replaced until an identical one could be located. He’s averse to domestic upheaval.

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I searched high and low, east and west, physical and Internet, but they just don’t make barbeques with wooden surrounds any more. They’re all shiny modern looking beasts, they don’t do Federation style in barbeques. Then one day, after a delightful lunch with friends, the back of the barbeque shot out a tongue of flame. More followed and judging it unwise to sacrifice our eyebrows to extinguishing attempts, we wheeled it into the middle of the verandah and let it do its thing. Fortunately it was the week before the cleanup, so after shedding a silent tear, out it went onto the council strip.

My resident hunter decided to go see for himself that no Federation style barbeques existed, and after a far less exhaustive search than mine, he dragged home a couple of boxes from Bunnings and positioned them artfully exactly where Old Faithful had stood for so many years, as if hopeful that the contents of the box would get the hint. I ignored it for a couple of days, but couldn’t resist its silent allure, so I got out my screwdrivers and a Stanley knife, gathered my helpers and set to work.

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I won’t bore you with the details, except to mention that local mosquitoes find the scent of mosquito coils rather bracing. Also that I did plan to do the ten assembly steps in order, but I got to step 5 to discover that I’d done step 2 wrong, so I skipped to step 9 which looked easy to cheer myself up before heading back to step 2, then it was plain sailing from step 6 on. Except that I’m pretty sure that I have the front and back legs reversed and I definitely have four screws left over. And that I can understand the motive behind the black on black decor, but it does make assembly challenging if you’re attempting step 3 after dinner and a couple of ciders.

I like assembling things, especially when the instructions are in English. I think the key to putting together a flat pack is to assume that you’re going to put half of it together upside down and inside out and be prepared to sigh a little and unscrew everything and do it again once or twice more. Once you have factored into your plans you’re a lot less flappable. You should also not under any circumstances accept any help, you will inevitably not appreciate the thoughtful advice you’ll be given. I’m now ready for step 10, which is to call a plumber and have the Beast connected to the mains gas, we don’t do gas bottles. I’m going to go check the mailbox for magnets advertising plumbers, and then I’m going to go put a heat pack on my back. Perhaps I should have asked for help in step 4.

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