The Great British Bank Holiday is truly a masterpiece. Everything seems to move at a slower pace, and the extra day off gives everyone the chance to relax and have a good day. Barbecues are lit, pasty bodies are roasted in the sunshine, and daytime drinking becomes mandatory. It's the British way.
Sadly, I had my head in the books for most of the weekend, working on my dissertation, but I did manage to escape for a few hours to enjoy the annual Stu Casa barbecue - a tradition that I wouldn't miss for anything. When I was younger, I pictured myself at sophisticated dinner parties and glamorous bars, but now that I am kind-of grown up, I actually savour the moments that are like this one. More like a student house party, with people spilling off the decking and down onto the dirt track below. Drinking out of a can, not a fancy martini glass. The view may have been gorgeous, but everyone was more interested in drinking, catching up and chowing down on barbecue to worry about the picturesque. This is where the conversations about art, science, religion and literature happen - not at perfectly manicured dinner tables. I couldn't have predicted it, but I bloody love it.
All in aid of celebrating the birthday of the most photogenic man I've ever met:
This wasn't an ordinary barbecue - this was a barbecue run by a Brazilian, and what a feast it was! Until Roberto showed me the light, I was all for the British barbecue where you wait your turn for a burger, or a sausage. Not any more! At a Brazilian barbecue, everything is thrown onto the coals and then cut up into bite-size pieces and passed around on platters. So no waiting all evening if you're the last in the queue - you are snacking on meaty, marinated morsels throughout the whole party. I'll never do it another way again.
I get a bit emotional at these sorts of group gatherings. Inwardly, of course, because no one likes the wailing girl in the corner, but I just feel so content when I am surrounded by the people I love. I am overwhelmed by how ace everyone is. It might be the Pimms talking, but I am very lucky to have found my feet in Leeds with these people. When everyone is dancing around the kitchen, after a few too many punches (the alcoholic kind, not the violent kind), sharing group hugs and singing the words to 5ive songs at the top of their lungs - that's the kind of stuff I want to remember. But it's not very photo-worthy, so sadly I can't share it with you!
On Sunday, after another tough day of analysing stats and consolidating theories, we took a wander through the gorgeous streets of Chapel Allerton, and stopped for a drink at Seven Arts. Yet another reason why I feel so luck - this is truly an incredible place to live. I can see blossom trees from my window, and meander through picturesque Victorian streets, before ending up in a hub of activity with bars and restaurants galore. What did I do in a past life to deserve all of this, huh?
We weren't the only ones enjoying the sunshine, of course! Tuna Fey has finally come out from under the sofa, and whilst I'm still not sure that she's enamoured with me, she is adorable, right?
What did you get up to this Bank Holiday weekend?