Barbecues are bad for you – at this point, what isn’t?! – Rick Jackson

I’m pretty sure many of us will be firing up our barbecues this Easter weekend as we are set to be warmer than Madrid and Rome. Being a man, I know my place. In front of the barbecue wearing an apron with the torso of a ‘dream boy’ on the front, whilst holding a pair of oversized tongs.

Wednesday, 17th April 2019, 6:47 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th April 2019, 6:52 pm
Rick Jackson thinks you have to live a little when it comes to enjoying a barbeque.

The purists will say a proper barbecue is fired by charcoal. You get the best flavour and the theatre of it all adds to the excitement.

For me, that’s a right pain in the gas bottle.

Getting dirty creating the fire, then the faff of trying to light it and then waiting 20 minutes for it to build up enough heat – if it even does at all.

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I am a massive fan of eating some burnt meat al fresco but it has to be quick and easy, otherwise your guests will either get bored or food poisoning.

Maybe the taste isn’t as authentic, but when you are putting on burgers purchased from the Happy Shopper, does that really matter?

My Swiss Grill barbecue is an absolute beauty.

Chrome with large black dials, connect up the gas bottle, twist and click and off you go.

No messing around. 

The food is cooked in no time at all and leaving it on whilst you eat means it burns off any remaining meat, cleaning itself, whilst providing that wonderful barbecue burnt waft.

But before you get too excited, some experts say that standing by a barbecue can be as bad for you as smoking 20 cigarettes a day.

Not only are we told processed meat is bad for you, over-cooked or slightly burnt sausages and burgers could now be as bad for you as a long weekend break in Chernobyl.

It does seem that everything that is very tasty to eat and quick to cook is bad for you.

Maybe soon we will all be eating lentils and tofu as we aim to live to 150 years old.

Will our grandchildren laugh at us eating all this processed meat burnt on an open fire while smoking a packet of Marlboro Reds?

Or will they think we knew how to live in the good, old days?


I know more about children’s shows than Match of the Day!

You know things are getting bad when you know the catchphrases of all the cartoon characters your kids love watching.

We went to Adventure Wonderland near Bournemouth just because PJ Masks were there. ‘Into the night to save the day,’ I exclaimed.

Then there is Paw Patrol: ‘Whenever you are in trouble, just yelp for help’. And Holly’s current favourite, Shimmer and Shine – make a wish and ‘Boom, Zahramay, first wish of the day’. It’s getting out of hand. I was even late leaving the house once as an episode of Peppa Pig I’d not seen was on.

I see far more kids TV than my old programmes.

Match of the Day is all I get to see and I generally fall asleep during the first game!


The ‘pollen bomb’ has made this season so unbearable

ll this wonderful weather we are to get for the Easter break may be brilliant for some, but experts have warned us of a ‘pollen bomb’ which will be awful news for hay fever sufferers.

For me, this spring has been the worst in years for my hay fever. Dry, itchy eyes and a continually runny nose, it’s been miserable. I’ve tried so many different types of antihistamine, all I’ve managed to do is know which ones send me to sleep post 7pm. This weekend, I will look rather shiny, as I plan to slap a tub of Vaseline over my face in a vain attempt to trap pollen before it enters my suffering nostrils. Best check the tub first, imagine if I applied Vicks Vapour Rub instead...