I am discombobulated.
It has just been thundering and there have been flashes of lightning. Today's date is 25th August and we've just had a thunderstorm. I haven't had my summer yet where I have lounged on my sun-lounger with my toddler playing alongside me in the sweet smelling summer grass. I haven't got a cushion for my sun-lounger and the grass is far from sweet-smelling.
But that's not the point!
I haven't had warm, soft, balmy evenings with the jasmine and honeysuckle sweetly scenting the air, the condensation from my glass of Pimms trickling over my fingers and friends laughing while the barbecue sizzles in the background.
Even before The Boy, I don't think we had a barbecue like that. Let's face it; the barbecue always manages to smoke everyone out, Mr. TheBoyandMe is usually worried about the chicken cooking all the way through, I forget the tray of jacket potatoes in the oven (true story! The oven had been turned off post cooking, but the next day I opened it to find 25 beautifully crispy jacket potatoes on a baking tray. We had potato salad for days afterwards), we run out of lagers but have too much rum left over (why do I buy it? No-one drinks it), and half way through the evening we have to come inside because it's too cold or raining!
However, did you know that the British are spending more on summer barbecues than they do (per person) on a summer holiday? The average amount per summer season of barbecues is £724.02, with an average spend of £141.67 per barbecue! Now bearing in mind, I haven't had one this summer, that means someone has had some marvellous barbecues and not invited me!
Apparently though, it's not just the hosts who spend money; it's the guests too! Gracious guests spend over £22 on goodies to supplement the already groaning feast-laden table. When I read that factoid, I'll admit to thinking: if each guest spends £22 on goodies, all I need to do is co-ordinate what they're bringing and I needn't spend a penny!
It's the last bank holiday weekend before Christmas (!) this weekend, it should be the time to have one last almighty bash at a fabulous barbecue. I won't be able to partake as we binned the underused and rusted barbecue last year (I'm vegetarian, he's a meat-eater, it never worked out easily), but here are some top tips to help it go well:
These factoids have been taken from The Pimm’s Summer Time Report, conducted in June 2011 by One Poll, which surveyed of 3,000 UK men and women, 25-45 years old. I wasn't asked to write about it, I've not been given anything, I just wanted to moan about the weather and show off my photo of one of my favourite drinks!
Please drink responsibly.