The storm wasn't really trying. The clouds rolled aimlessly around the sky for a while then slid off somewhere else, taking the fading boom-boom-boom of the thunder with them like a blind giant blundering off into the distance.
So bathed in pale gold sunshine we had our barbecue and it was good, especially the lamb steaks marinated in lemon, dried rosemary and garlic. Nicely grilled on the outside, pink and juicy inside.
There was a trifle to finish, T.'s specialty: layers of sponge cake and custard flecked with roughly grated white chocolate and then rich cream over that and a top layer of mixed berries - raspberries, blackberries and strawberries, all spreading their red juiciness down through the cream and almost into the custard. Over all of this delicious yumminess was another very generous shower of grated white chocolate.
Earlier in the afternoon, I had walked outside with William to sit for a while in the garden and watch the butterflies. I sat down with him in my arms on a deck chair of tubular steel and what passes for canvas these days and suddenly there was a RRRRRIP! and then there was nothing there and I hit the ground hard. The fabric had ripped clear across - weather-worn, evidently, but not noticeably - and my legs and back scissored together and I folded up like a waiter's corkscrew and went straight through the metal frame grazing every vertebral bump in my backbone on the way through. I couldn't break the fall with my arms because I was holding William. I just instinctively held him up with my hands under his little armpits as I collapsed beneath him.
Lesson: IT ISN'T CANVAS! It's a cheap imitation and it will eventually give way even though it still looks fine. The chair has a pair and I tested it by giving it a good downwards shove with both hands. Sure enough, it gave way. Now they're both in the trash. Check your deck chairs. And don't buy the $19.95 ones from Bunnings.
Coincidentally (or possibly ironically) I had only last week examined a pair of genuine ship deck lounges, made in Italy and used on cruise ships in the sixties, for sale in a garden shop. White-painted hardwood frames that looked like they would survive a shipwreck and bob all the way to shore, heavy duty canvas that would withstand a gale and neat little overhead adjustable sunshades to shade your pretty head while you lazed about toying with a Campari and wondering what to have for dinner and why the sea is so blue.
I might go back and have a second look. They were $300 each. Worth it?