This weekend Hubby and I were invited to an expat BBQ. This was only our 2nd invite to a party since our Kuwait landing (not sure why I admitted that, makes us sound like Billy no mates) mainly due to our social circle consisting solely of my female friends or invites given out at school gates which bypass us altogether. Nether the less my lovely friend Mrs S, a Yorkshire lass who for the last year has firmly established herself as my brunch and mani/pedi buddy, invited us along to a family party.
Much to my surprise Hubby was as excited as I to have a social encounter past 5pm, which meant we could break ourselves away from routine of Walford and the Master Chef final and I could get a much-needed catch up with my friend and meet some potential new ones. We headed off with excitement, nervous anticipation and ready to mingle.
We were welcomed into their lovely home with hugs and enthusiasm, and as the exchanging of how do you dos and introductions were made, I immediately felt at ease and looked forward to the night ahead. We made our way up onto the roof, where a expansive terrace opened out to unveil a large table, to accommodate the growing party, and a BBQ smoking away ready to deliver, what smelt like a delicious feast.
As the five couples made themselves at home, the conversation started to flip around the group and the mini reviews of our journeys to Kuwait unfolded. Me the island girl, was the furthest southerner and the newbies from the Scottish coast proved we spanned every corner of the U.K. and here we all were under the desert sky. I loved the fact that we were among the familiarity of a bunch of Brits but there was not one negative reaction to their Kuwait adventures. The length of time we had all made Kuwait our new home varied, from the seasoned couple of five years to the newest addition of five weeks. We all had an open mind to what this life was going to bring and all, bar us, had used this as their first step into expat life, seizing the opportunity and embracing every moment. Surrounded by a group of like-minded people you realise that the life you lead isn’t quite as strange and random as you once thought, but exciting and liberating, allowing you to step outside your comfort zone and throw caution to the wind.
As the sun went down, we all realised that this was probably the last time an al fresco get together would be feasible. We are currently on the cusp of the soaring desert temperatures and sitting there in 35 degrees at 8pm, we were all feeling the stickiness of the intense heat drift in. The spread was delivered to the table by our wonderful hosts and it didn’t disappoint, a culinary trip through Arabic flavors. Slow roasted BBQ lamb which was to die for, served up with warmed flat breads, hummus and tabbouleh (a middle eastern salad of parsley, onion, mint and tomatoes swimming in lashings of olive oil). Mrs S had done herself proud with pistachio and orange blossom salad, her brilliantly named Tomato Party (cous cous tossed with a variety of slow roasted tomato and herbs) and chickpeas, avocado and feta, which I’m pretty sure was one of my recipe exchanges. All these delights bought the conversation to a murmur as we tucked in and savored every bite.
This is where the unexpected drama unfurled. One of the kids said they felt rain and that a storm was on its way, this was pretty much dismissed by the adults, as we had felt one or two droplets which could easily be ignored. As the kids retired indoors, the remaining adults ooo-ed and ahh-ed at the forks of lightning in the distance. Then this is where I guess the saying the quiet before the storm derives, as we continued our conversation for a good half and hour with zero rain, no lightning and not even a gentle breeze on the horizon.
Then with absolutely no warning the wind picked up like, well to quote one of the party, like something out of the Wizard of Oz! The vacated chairs were flung through the air, glasses were crashing over the table, bread baskets flying. It was panic stations as we all scrambled to our feet grabbing everything we could, as fast as we could, whilst literally trying to stay on our feet. As I went to grab a wallet and a handbag to save from taking flight, my sunglasses flew off my head and landed a meter in front of me. I broke into a run to grab them when I noticed one of the lenses had come loose. As I stooped to grab the dislodged lens I witnessed a cushion, a kitchen roll and my lens fly off the roof into oblivion. In utter shock I turned only to see Mrs S with her skirt round her ears as she attempted to run for the door. I can report that other than my much-loved tortoise shell Ray Bans and Mrs S’ modesty there were no other casualties.
So as the party moved to the safety of indoors, we all dusted ourselves off and I mean literally there was sand everywhere, just like a day at St Ouens you could feel it in your eyes, teeth and the sensation your entire body was covered in a sandy breadcrumb coating. We laughed about how extreme that change of weather was, exchanging war stories about random weather experiences and how none of us saw that dust storm coming. As we retired round the dinning room table, a Christmas left over box of After Eight mints were presented to eight eager faces, ready to delve into a piece of dark chocolate covered British nostalgia. They were yummy.
The party came to a close and Hubby and I were well and truly past our usual bed time, I thought what a lovely evening it had been and an eventful one at that. We had spent time with and met great people, all of which had a common belief that life was for the living and we maybe far from home but up on that roof we were in it together, making memories and loving every minute of it.
And if case you were wondering, Hubby and I got home and caught up with the Master Chef final whilst digesting a wonderful evening.