The first barbecue of the season

We have a saying in Yorkshire, ne'er cast a clout 'til May is out, meaning don't put your long johns away until the hawthorn blossom is out.

Well, the blossom's out, and the clouts have been cast. Unfortunately any attempt to dust off the barbecue and enjoy the splendid weather was thwarted – by the not-so-splendid weather.

We had planned to have the first barbecue of the season to celebrate the May Day bank holiday. At 2pm with the temperature plummeting and the rain clouds gathering, I took an executive decision to bring the cooking inside. Noel never complains when he's left shivering over a charred burger, smoke in his eyes. But this would have been too much to ask, it was just too cold. Anyway, we had a bottle of Liquid Smoke, purchased in the USA, to give the oven-baked burgers that all-over barbecue taste.

I think our guests were relieved too, they stayed in the lounge next to the stove as it belted out enough heat to singe the cat's fur.

Roll on summer!

Thanks to James for letting me steal this photo of Noel.

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