I really enjoyed the last 24 hours of the summer. Have you seen the forecast? Never mind the shorts and flip flops of this weekend. Next week we'll be back in thermals and waterproofs as the temperature plummets. Never mind, if there's one thing I've learned about British summer time, you have to take it while you can. This might be two days in April and a midweek heatwave in October, but just enjoy it. Who knows when it will be back again.
But joy of joys, we had 75% of our children here yesterday (always a blessing - this is Mum speak for 'Oh you're back to eat me out of house and home, and you have enough dirty clothes to keep a charity shop in business for a month'). I had taken the easy way out and ordered a load of meat to stick on the barbecue, and I reminded the husband on Sunday morning that it would need cleaning before we cooked anything on it. Cleaning the barbecue basically means setting fire to it and hoping that it won't blow up, so once it had been done, a small domestic started which shall henceforth be known as 'Chickengate'.
Because I do packed lunches for the husband and son number two each day, I always roast off a couple of chickens on a Sunday, as it's everyone's favourite lunchtime pack-up.
'I'll do them in the barbecue', says the husband.
'Oh, I don't think so', I reply. 'You'll set fire to them'.
'No I won't. I'll keep an extra special eye on them, and there will be less washing up for you', he adds, playing his trump card.
'Oh go on then', I say.
So in went the chickens, little knowing the fate that awaited them. Thirty minutes in, I called the husband to tell him that the chickens were on fire.
'No they're not, he said from the kitchen. Who knew he had X-ray vision, or maybe just eyes in the back of his head. He came out with a bottle of water, and extinguished the chickens, and then decided to head off to the garden centre, telling me to watch the aforementioned burnt offerings.
Now, I was ensconced on my deckchair with a damn good book and a glass of something, so I simply said to him that if they were in the oven, then they would be my responsibility, but as they were in the barbecue, then it was down to him to watch them. Looking round at the various offspring sprawled on the lawn, he focused on son number one and gave him instructions. 'Watch the chickens. If they catch light again, put them out'.
When the husband returned and removed the poor chickens from the barbecue, he held them aloft, professing them to be a 'thing of beauty'. Looking more closely, I agreed that 'yes, the breasts looked lovely, but both of them had severely charred undercarriages'.
After two days in the sun, I know exactly how they feel...