sausages. Bet you never thought of spelling sausages with an initial P, but it seemed quite the thing to do when coupling the psausages with psalms for last evening's bash at Holy Trinity church, Dunoon. When you take a fine musician, a fine evening, 5o or so sausages and a jolly group of people you have a recipe for success.
A singing workshop in the church saw a good proportion of the congregation learning three ways to sing psalms - plainsong, Anglican chant and plainsong with a refrain - as well as a couple of canticles, along with a bit of background history which began with the haunting sound of the earliest Jewish psalm singing realised for contemporary listeners and played on that most contemporary of instruments, the iPod. A considerable degree of unanimity of sound was achieved before the mass exit in the direction of the Rectory.
Here the Marthas had set up and lit two barbecues - who said this was man's work? - on the patio, where a non-singing Vestal had tended the flames till the workshop was over. By now they were classically white and glowing, and in no time at all, thanks to the prescience of the sausage-providers, there was a great quantity of suitably charred and well-cooked sausages - enough even for the chaps who felt they needed ...er... 4 of them.
The great secret to all this was actually fairly minimal preparation in advance. A few people earmarked for the vital components - sausages and the fabby rolls from Blacks the Baker, butter and relish - and the ample supply of wine which is a feature of gatherings at HT; the freedom to set out other things like salads and paper plates indoors; the big black bag for all the rubbish at the end - that was it. The BBQs kept the midges away far more effectively than when in the past we'd set up under the trees on the lawn, and their heat, reflected off the walls of the house, kept the patio warm well after sunset.
And when all had gone save the Vestal not-actually-virgins and the organist, the roof fund was £60 better off and it was hazily felt that perhaps we ought to do this again. Fun, huh?
Footnote: I have to report that the Ayrshire pork sausages from The Codfathers were just wonderful.
Postscript: There's a new link on the blogroll to a good site for meditation; the most recent is, coincidentally, on a psalm.