The sizzle of my poor man’s steak – the pork chop – produced a satisfying smoke that tasted real BBQ and felt comfortingly sooty. The main course – strips of sirloin pork doused in a generic sauce and hot buttered corn on the cob gently wrapped in foil – looked homely and bland, but when I cook, the care comes out in the flavours.

Yes, I am a BarBman, I BBQ the best I can, I can BBQ on the run. Today, I’m enjoying a barbie by the seashore. I closed the portable grill and slowly, my eyes close in the gritty heat. I’m startled awake by my better half as the smoke from my holy grill tells me that sauce is needed quickly. Yes, yes, yes…. more sauce… less smoke… sizzle sizzle sizzle… my eyes are shut….

Hordes of happy children splash in the river as their parents enjoy the day after work. It is truly summer again for the second day or so this year. We take advantage of each rising degree and celebrate on the river and bay beaches. You had a choice – fresh water at 12 degrees or salt water at 3 degrees – but it didn’t really matter. Beach and sand was everywhere, with room for everyone.

Blasting from my portable speaker, my first song ends, and reminds me to check my cooking again. My BBQ rule: one song, one flip. The chops look succulent of course, and I flip them over, more sauce less smoke… sizzling on. The corn gets the flip too.

Several songs later, I heap on more pork as the first batch disappears quickly. I’m happy, they’re happy, the beach goes on. The second and final round of cooking is another sign for us to speed our outdoor activities to higher levels of sand and water. The sounds of ATVs slowly passing by and into the distance of heat haze and the beach echoes more laughter and happy screams. The day and sun continue their brilliant act of defying autumn days and pending cooler weather. But don’t think about that today.

My eyes close again. The heat is enjoyably durable, the body seems to take the high heat and low activity rate. I’m not much of a swimmer, but I stay in the shade avoiding deadly skin peelings.

With the BBQ safely cooled down to repack, back to town we head. I knew it was time to leave due to the increase of fly swatting and swearing and the pending bingo game made it obvious that the fine day was over. Too bad I’m not much of a drinker, I would have cooled down the natural way at the local watering hole and loitering like no tomorrow. But bingo rules the nights these days and home is where the cold shower is.

Back home, I cool down with a lot of H2O laced with Labrador tea leaves and sugar. There’s 0% alcohol, but it’s pretty damn cooling. Yes, summer has graced our lives today. For once, I’m happy with the heat as it got me to BBQ some chops at a swell beach! Life could be better, but heaven can wait.

My ATV reappears packed with friends of my teenaged daughter, apparently scouting for other parts of heaven on earth. I’m satisfied that my vehicle isn’t stuck in the fine sands of the Great Whale River and my BBQ didn’t embarrassingly flame out and that the kids are happy. Couldn’t pray for anything better.

The night cools down enough to sleep off another great day on the 55th parallel. Maybe the gods of BBQdom will grant me another day out…