You know that morning after a few days stuck in bed? That one where you can feel the cool freshness of air in your lungs without spluttering, and you realise you’re no longer seven parts mucus and three parts sweat? Well, that’s today. And it’s beautiful.
I marked the occasion by squeaking open the bedroom window, as if to invite the spring breeze to sweep the plague out of the house while I languished in bed a little longer.
I wondered what it was I was supposed to be doing on a bank holiday Sunday, whilst half the country bundled its kids, dogs and picnic sets into people carriers and the other half queued in circles round B&Q’s car parks. It seemed appropriate to take to the garden with a coffee to ponder the issue some more. So I sat, bum on grass, drifting through the morning with two happy cats weaving in and out of my legs, their tails wrapping slinkily around my calves.
Quite predictably, the cats tired of me pretty quickly and ventured further up the garden, pouncing excitedly, now and then, on clusters of leaves rustling with insects and bits of fluff. This seemed pretty special (either that, or my positive mood was rare), so I reached for my phone and took a few snaps. Vivid blue flowers jumped into focus. My garden rolled out before me, twice its usual size and its colours popping in a vogueish fashion.
Drawing the boy’s attention to the beauty of the great outdoors only compounded his belief that a BBQ was the only compulsory part of the weekend. To be fair, I had no reasonable argument against this: we’ve had a week of rain, wind and work; and today was evidently an anomaly. If we didn’t crack open the firelighters today, there’s every chance I’d have to hear about it every wet August weekend.
And so the outing of the day has been a trip to the supermarket. I’m not sure why, but I feel this snobbish embarrassment at buying BBQ supplies, as if the girl at the checkout is mentally fitting us to a shirtless, sunburnt bank holiday photo-fit. To extricate myself from this (or perhaps out of sheer unhelpfulness), I browsed the magazines as the boy paid for our coals and packed his compressed log (seriously, that’s what it’s actually called).
Guffawing over childish “compressed log” jokes, we drove home, ate lunch and almost immediately started prepping dinner. Woodchips crackled, fancy French jazz music hung in the air, and I got that pseudo rustic feeling that never lasts.
The cooking was frantic, but the eating was smug as hell. Lamb kebabs, baba ganoush, home-made flatbreads, falafel and salads galore. We glugged red wine and congratulated ourselves.
I have a feeling we rolled into bed around 10.30pm.
Is this called being a grown up?