Every couple of years or so, my mum will decide to have a ‘bit of a do’ and invite close family and more distant family over for a buffet meal, chat, coffee, etc. which will always be held in the garden.
She tends to do these on years when the garden is looking particularly lovely, and when the roses are smelling sweet and the grass is at its greenest.
And why not, I say.
Anyhows, part of this routine involves dad erecting some kind of giant sun-shade over the trestle tables to keep the sun off the diners.
In truth it usually serves to keep off the rain, or protect people from the falling acorns thrown by the rather angry squirrels that live in the trees surrounding the garden plot.
Being the ingenious type, dad has over the years collected an assortment of old tent poles, broken plastic gazebos and different pieces of bright green awning / tent fabric.
And so the day before any of mum’s events, dad can be seen, with a willing victim of the close family, in the garden trying to create some kind of giant tent affair to cover the lawn. Or at least the bits where people will be.
One year the weather was so awful that every second person at the table had to hold a pole up with one hand whilst eating with the other. After a while the person would swap with their neighbor.
Every so often dad would walk about the edges of the tent waving a broom stick, a bit like a sergeant major. He would push the fabric up where it looked bloated and bucket loads of water would cascade down onto the sodden earth below.
What a pity they don’t make garden umbrellas that are that bit bigger than the normal round ones so if you have a larger than life family and outdoor meal, you could use a larger than life sun-shade.
Guess what today’s review is about…
I’m now off to disentangle dad from the remains of last weeks dinner party (and tent)…
Bye for now