FIVE-thirty alarm. Not what you wanna hear when you’ve had a crap, lurgy-ridden night of interrupted sleep.

Normally Margaret’s fast asleep when I’m on early ‘smoker duty’, but this morning she’s awake and comes to get the smoker ready and a gazebo up to shelter it from the rain. The help is welcome and makes the whole process much easier.

Soon after 7am everything’s up to temperature and there’s two pork butts on slo’n’lo. Hopefully they’ll be ready by the time our French guests rock up this evening.

Back to bed where we sit up, drink coffee and get the rest of the day planned.

I sort my photos from my jaunt up Conic Hill with the path workers team and publish the news feature on the website. There’s some video vox pops to sort too, but I’ll publish them tomorrow.

I muster up some enthusiasm and get to work on my own website revamp. I’m kinda dragging my heels, but hopefully I’ll get it nailed over the next few days.

In between times I monitor the the temperature of the meat and the pit popping outside to open and close vents as required and adding another load of lit charcoal. Margaret’s making potato salad, coleslaw and a pavlova.

The pork butts are ready just before 7pm – we’ll let them rest for an hour or so before ‘pulling’ – and a few minutes later Dominique, Marie-Claude, Jean Luc and Corrine arrive, Phew. Made it!

Another night of merriment…and fun, although we’re ready for our bed by the time we’ve cleared up and done the dishes.