The weather is getting better. I know because the old man and the old woman have been dusting off the barbecue and casting wistful looks at the sausages and burgers in the deep freeze.
They are simple souls and like nothing better than cremating what was a perfectly fine piece of meat and then serving it up on a plate. Still, it's often raw in the middle so I guess that evens things out.
I don't mind a barbecue because the next morning I can help with the housework by hoovering up the collateral damage of discarded meat products. Yum. I keep as far away as possible from the actual event, not least because their daft friends insist on eating to what they call "music" and what I call "an assault on the ears".
The preparations drive me batty. They always have a garden makeover before inviting people to share in their culinary catastrophes. The lawnmower, buzzing like several swarms of angry bees, strips away the long grass in which I like to hide while stalking little creatures. Then there's the ear-splitting strimmer. How can I sleep with all that kerfuffle going on?
Usually these friends bring along smaller versions of themselves - "children", I think they're called. This selection of ankle-biters, horror of horrors, want to play with me. Another reason for boycotting the event and scuttling off to my favourite hidey-hole. These "children" scream and fight over the minuscule paddling pool Mr and Mrs bought for a pittance in a car boot sale and then had to mend with a bicycle tyre repair kit. Hardly a brain cell between them.
When all the gardening has been done and the children at last subdued, there is that crazy summer ceremony - the lighting of said barbecue. The old man spends about half an hour holding matches to firelighters and charcoal. It smoulders for a short while, sending up clouds of smoke before he gets a fire going hot enough to just about warm through a pork chop rind. That stage lasts for half an hour before the next phase when it suddenly flares into life and become hot enough to strip the paint off the garage at 20 paces.
I'll be glad when it rains again so I can pop outdoors, get soaking wet and then jump on either the old man or old woman to get myself dry. They usually put up with me and I end up warm and cosy between them on the sofa. They do have their uses.
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