The weekend of the BBQ was approaching: free beer was promised; there were rumours of cake; hot charcoal would be supplied; Doug had organised a local walk; a climbing venue would be announced; and the weather was set fine over Swanage, with Hurricane Bertha not due until Sunday….
All the above is true, some of it happened, and some didn’t…
The first drops of rain fell early on Friday evening. Well, the tent was newly reproofed, so no worries. We appeared to be the first members to arrive and were soon snug inside the tent listening to the steady rain. Halfway through dinner we started dodging the drips of water – not part of the game plan, and probably the result of cooking steam! So we retired to the sleeping compartment, which stayed dry.
The next day things soon dried out in the sun. Anna and Henry had arrived late the previous evening, and then Alan drove up as we finished coffee. As Henry and Anna fancied a walk, that left three of us for climbing.
Sorry if anyone was waiting with baited breath for a venue to be announced, but by the time a decision was reached it was a little late for any announcement to be effective. Anyway, for the record, we went to Boulder Ruckle (Silhouette Arête) and then Subluminal (Baboon and Curving Crack – both out of the increasing wind).
Doug’s walk went to plan (it must have, as Doug and associates made it to the BBQ).
The hot charcoal took a while to realise that it ought to be hot, but frequent squirts of lighter fluid and vigorous fanning successfully persuaded it to assume its role in life.
There was plenty of free beer and there was ample free cake. Hurricane Bertha arrived early, about 10:30 on Saturday evening, just as we finished packing our gear into the car (we didn’t really want to pack up a wet tent in the morning, and so drove the 20 minutes home to our bed!)
Around 30 members, both climbers and walkers, enjoyed the event. Thank you, Anita, for doing such a splendid job of organising it. Thanks to Anita for organising the summer BBQ! Well done on finding the perfect giant BBQ off gumtree for us to use and you thought of everything, sauces, beer and cakes for dessert.
It was great to see so many people turn up (unannounced!) despite hurricane Bertha’s remnants forcing many to abandon camp Sunday morning.
The rumours of free beer turned out to be true.