| 6°C Dublin

Josie goes the whole hog for a barbie

I thought that once I had purchased my half of Josie's organically reared pig that would be the end of the saga. Actually, it had just begun.

"I've decided to have a few people around and roast a pig on a spit," she said at our coffee morning. The rest of us thought this was a brilliant idea.

"I was thinking maybe 20 or 30 people," she went on. "You know, just the neighbours and a few friends."

Unfortunately, the pig that Josie had kept for herself was actually the hog and the butcher informed her that he would take at least a week to defrost.

Also worth considering was the fact that it would yield a massive 120kg of meat and take 14 hours to cook.

Basically, to get rid of it she would need to invite at least 150 people.

"Do you know 150 people?" I asked her.

She went off to root out her little black book of names and addresses. Three days later she was up to 100.

"That's brilliant," I said. "I'm really looking forward to it and I'll know loads of people.

"You certainly will," she replied. "One of them is your Aunt Sadie."

My face managed to keep its smile but my brain was going 'FFS'.

When I arrived over to pick Sadie up she was ready for me in her good overcoat, furry boots, woolly hat and leather gloves.

Yes it was June, but there was a gale force wind outside, the sky was threatening to projectile vomit a monsoon and the temperature was 8 degrees.

"I don't like pork," she said on the way over. This was news to me as she likes nothing more than a sausage sandwich for her lunch.

Things were really picking up at Josie's. She had opened the field as a makeshift car park and had made up a bar in the garage.

On the patio was the hog on a spit. He was about the length of her house.

I deposited Aunty beside Maggie's mother and legged it. Four hours later, after eating a mountain of pig and draining numerous glasses of vino, I suddenly remembered I hadn't seen either of them for a while.

I eventually found them in the bar in the garage.


It was a scene of Bacchanalian decadence. Behind the bar was Josie's eldest son, spinning bottles of spirits in the air as if he was Tom Cruise in Cocktail. Sitting at the bar, on two high stools, were Aunty and Maggie's mother.

They had linked arms and were about to knock back two cocktails. "What are you drinking?" I demanded.

"Brain Haemorrhage's," they shouted back.

I reckoned the next day they would both be sick as pigs.

I was right.