THE Lioness is an uncomplicated sort of person who tends not to stress too much about anything.
She is also a “people person” and loves nothing better than to have a few friends over for a barbie.
The combination of these two characteristics has led to her claiming January 26 as the day when all of our friends have to make her Australia Day celebrations the place to be and mark it prominently in their social calendars accordingly.
Last year about 20 or so people turned up and a pleasant day was had by all, to the extent one couple was worried they were not going to be invited back this year.
In fact, they were always going to be — along with 70 or so guests the love of my life also invited.
And she did not have a bad strike rate either, with about 50 of our mates turning up to enjoy each other’s company.
The rules were simple: bring a chair, your own beverages and Esky and something that previously had four legs and a woollen coat.
In other words, no beef or pork was allowed – just lamb.
Although one of our female friends did acknowledge our country’s multiculturalism by barbecuing some souvalakis, assisted in part by one of her closest friends, who was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Lebanese Legend”.
The souvlakis provided a nice backdrop for The Lioness’ two giant pavs, made in the shape of Australia and including one that had a topping of mangos and green cream, to produce the appropriate patriotic green-and-gold effect.
The day was also my debut on our new husband-friendly barbie (she reckoned any fool could operate it) and hitherto the barbecue area was to be my domain, the realm of the Lord and master of the house — which I had assumed was her.
But my compatriots on the day showed little respect for the truism that a man’s barbecue is his castle, elbowing in to take over and even criticising some of the implements I had to cook with.
Although I must admit, a couple of them were pretty useless and were only there for show — or just in case the cheapskate who had given them to me for a present was among the invited guests.
The Lioness strategically placed two large Australian flags in the front yard, accompanied by two smaller ones and a large “boxing kangaroo”.
Out the back, every square inch of the border of the roof of the entertainment area was covered in a flag of some sort while flags adorned various parts of the yard-entertainment area; and even the tooth picks had little flags on them.
Not to mention our bed was covered in a neat pattern of blue doona cover, red sheet and white pillow while The Lioness wore a blue singlet with a replica of the Australian flag on the front.
Although I was somewhat confused by her wearing a pair of cotton shorts, also covered in flags — I thought they were part of her bedroom collection.
The rug rats proved to be even more innovative, procuring a lounge set which had been placed on the nature strip of a residence down the road and bearing a sign “free to a good home”.
The Princess Legend and The D-Mac decided that would be our front lawn and a good location for them and a couple of their friends to have their own little party.
Which was fine, except for the cacophony of car horns in response to the sign the kids had put out the front, asking passing drivers to honk if they loved Australia.
Everything considered, it was a fine old day and if any of our guests did not have a good time, then they should complain to someone who gives a rat’s.
Personally, I’m more worried about The Lioness’ dreams for next year coming to fruition and all of the 100 people she is going to invite turning up.
Although I guess I should have had enough training by then to prove my mastery of the barbecue.