"Practise saying 'no' in the mirror," a mum friend belatedly advises.
It's not even that I said yes, I just let slip that we have a BBQ and that Malcolm has the day off on Friday. Well it was the Deputy Headmistress...
So I've lumbered my husband with barbecuing 100 sausages in the school playground. In December. In
The morning of the school fair, panic sets in over the small matter of buying charcoal. In December. In
Lancashire. Sainsbury's? No. B&Q? No. Various friends and acquaintances? No. The random garden centre in our village that we've never visited before? Yes, yes, yes! (We also discover an old man called Arthur who runs a model shop up the rickety steps of the old mill building - a little boy's and big dad's treasure trove - but I digress.)
As the rain sets in, we overcome the next hurdle: fitting the BBQ in the car. We think we're home and (not so) dry but there remains the biggest challenge a man can face. Making fire. On a freezing, wet and windy day. (Did I mention
Lancashire in December?)
While the kids drag me around the cosy, packed and buzzing school fair, Malc struggles on alone in the cold. A whole pack of firelighters later and there's a glimmer of a glow. He puffs... and he puffs... and he puffs... and eventually there's a sizzle, sizzle, spit.
THE SAUSAGES ARE COOKING.
Fast forward two hours. The BBQ coals are burning bright. There's an abundance of well-cooked sausages. And most people have left the fair. Some never even knew there was a BBQ.
That evening I look in the mirror, carefully form the word 'No,' and check I don't have MUG written across my forehead.