Our afternoon fun lasted for hours into the evening

Inspiration: Madeleine Shaw

LESLEY KEATING: Sugar-free for a year and I’m glowing

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Ilike to think of myself as a gal who is usually the last one standing, whether that’s on a night out down the town, at a wedding reception or even at a family event.

My partner Matt and I are usually the last ones to leave and this rang true at the weekend when we organised a huge barbecue for family and friends on Southsea Common.

Now things have clearly changed over the last couple of years because once upon a time, the thought of spending my Saturday night sitting in a field with a burger (the veggie kind of course) and a bun, wouldn’t have exactly thrilled me.

But now I’m approaching the dreaded 30 (three months and counting), these smaller, family-skewed, ‘quieter’ events, are appealing.

So there we all were, a good 30 of us, being the typical Brits that we are and refusing to go home – despite the huge black cloud that had lingered above us for most of the day.

We were enjoying each other’s company, our lunchboxes filled with homemade salads and coleslaw, burgers and sausages, and it occurred to me how much things have changed.

For starters, we didn’t sit on the beach but decided on a rather convenient position right next to the children’s park so my nieces and nephews could play at their leisure.

Oh, and ‘it’s less breezy’, as my mum informed us.

And we played a game of dodgeball, which turned into a one-hour game of yelling, tears, blood (seriously) and rows.

I guess some things never change. Michelle, I do not take kindly to cheats!

At 11pm a debate unfolded about the criminal justice system in the UK – not something anyone, especially me, wants to get into on a Saturday night – and as we looked around we realised that there wasn’t a single other person on the common.

No-one else was mad enough to almost continue their afternoon barbecue into the next day.

I laughed because as I continued to drink my glass of wine (some things really never do change), and one by one our crowd disintegrated as their taxis arrived, I realised that yet again we were the last ones standing.