My Saturday: Rio packing list?!

So yesterday night I kept meaning to write and meaning to write, and then I just didn’t get round to it, and fell asleep with my laptop on my knees..! The reason for this was last night we decided to spend some ‘quality time’ together as a family.

We went to the shops in the morning, and we all helped to do the weekly shop. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time all 4 of us went shopping together, because it usually ends up incredibly chaotic and in a shouting match because everyone is putting things into the trolley at once. It was probably Christmas time. But this weekend, we all needed to just get out of the house. It was a little stressful, but not as chaotic as it could have been.

My Mum decided that she really wanted to have a ‘nice’ BBQ in the evening as it was a sunny day, and so far this year we have only had one BBQ and not even all together. Ever since I can remember, Dad has always been against BBQs. I think it was because it was an awful lot of work and slightly dangerous when we were younger, and every time we got the BBQ out, it rained, so we ended up just grilling anyway. It seems, however, that he is more up for a BBQ now that my brother can safely undertake the cooking without having to be supervised or kept away from the BBQ.

Yet Mum had particularly specified that this had to be a ‘nice’ BBQ. We were all rather confused though over what would make this a ‘nice’ BBQ. Surely all BBQs are the same? Well, in my Mum’s mind, it seemed like a ‘nice’ BBQ simply consisted of the 3 for £10 deal in M&S rather than our standard Tesco burgers and sausages. Luckily our local Tesco is joined to an M&S, so when we were packing the shopping from Tesco, she went to go and get the BBQ stuff from M&S. So instead of the regulars, we ended up with chicken sliders (mini burgers), sticky salmon skewers, and ‘posh dogs’ which seemed to me to be just the same as a normal hot dog, but that’s just M&S for you,

It was quite a feast in the evening, with brioche buns and salad to supplement the above. We all tucked in quite happily. I’m not sure that it was necessarily ‘nicer’ than what we would normally have, but my Mum enjoyed it, so it was worth it. And it was certainly nice to eat together as a family. In the week, my Mum gets home late from work and my Dad is usually dashing off to a meeting, or we’re going out to choir or orchestra practice, so we normally do only eat together at the weekends.

After the BBQ, my brother and I decided to make smores, using the hot coals left in the BBQ to heat the marshmallows. If you haven’t had a smore before, you should definitely try one… They are incredibly bad for you, but incredibly tasty! They consist of chocolate digestive biscuits and melted marshmallows to create a biscuity-gooey-chocolatey-melted marshmallow sandwich. It was delicious!

We then proceeded to play a game that we haven’t played probably since I was about 5 and used to get bored at every opportunity and my parents would have to come up with things to keep me occupied. If my brother is playing with us, we mostly avoid board games as he has episodes when he gets so frustrated with games that he turns over the board and ruins the progress of everyone else (typical teenager testosterone-filled tantrum).

So instead of our intellectually stretching Scrabble in French or Trivial Pursuit (from 1970s so we have no chance at the answers) we played ‘I went to the shops and I bought.’ If you are not familiar with the concept, the first player says ‘I went to the shops and I brought {something beginning with A}.’ The second player says ‘I went to the shops and I brought {the thing beginning with A and something beginning with B}.’ This goes on until the last player repeats the list of things, going all the way through the alphabet. I guess it’s a type of memory game. We decided to give the game a twist, and turn it into ‘I went to the Rio Olympics and I brought.’ We had to justify each thing (however bizarre).

Maybe if you’re lucky enough to be going to Rio, perhaps you might consider taking these things with you…!

A: Athlete’s training spikes (for practising the 800m before the finals)

B: Borneo Orangutan (apparently they live in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil)

C: Cyclist’s helmet (because safety comes first)

D: A discus (for making sure the Rio discuses are not bias)

E: An Ethiopian long distance runner (because they are competing)

F: A fence (to keep the protestors out)

G: A guard for the Princess Royal’s eyes (because of this)

H: A hammer (for the hammer-throw, one of our favourite events to watch)

I: The Icelandic thunderclap (to support Iceland)

J: Jet lag (because Rio’s a long way from England)

K: Some karate moves (for protecting yourself from muggers)

L: Lizzie Armistead (to win the Women’s road cycling)

M: A mosquito net (because you do not want to catch malaria and in front of all those people, you do not want to be shown on TV with mosquito bites all over you)

N: A Nike bag (because νικη (nike) in Greek means victory, and where else would you store all your kit?)

O: The Olympic Rings (to remind you of the 5 continents, countries competing, honour, and everything the Olympics stands for)

P: A pencil case (because you need to keep score)

Q: The Queen’s representative (to keep the support strong for our GB athletes)

R: A rowing oar (how else are you going to row?)

S: Suntan lotion (Rio is very hot, and our pale skinned bodies don’t stand a chance)

T: Tequila (for celebration/drowning losses – this was not my suggestion…!)

U: Urine samples (for eliminating dopers)

V: Vests (for running in)

W:Water purification tablets (the water out there looks pretty murky)

X: A xylophone (to keep up moral in the Athlete’s accommodation)

Y: A yacht (so you can compete in the sailing competitions/escape the hustle and bustle to see the views of Rio from the sea)

Z: Zika trial vaccine (it’s worth a try…)

We ended the evening, suitably, by watching the Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony (but more on that another time). I hope you all had a good weekend, and spending time with your families or friends or just taking some time for yourself and enjoying the (actually quite pleasant) summer weather!




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