Last summer wasn’t a particular favourite. Mrs Blazing spent much of it under the influence of surgeons and as a result we did not get to spend one day in the garden, from memory. The previous year I remember we had one barbeque with the neighbours in June, and that was that!

Forgive me therefore, if I can only afford a cautious acknowledgement of the weekend just past. Two fine evenings in the garden, accompanied by Chinese food on Friday, and a delicious barbe feast on Saturday, were certainly a joy. Tonight, however, the rains are back, and with a vengeance.

The garden feast is such a rarity over here that many of them stick in the memory down the years. In this momentous week for South African sport I am reminded of one the most memorable. World Cup, 1990, and England play Belgium in the last sixteen.

“Come on over”, says a friend with a huge pile in the country.

The television is set up on the patio, and much beer and wine accompanies the seemingly endless supply of burnt flesh. In the last minute of extra-time David Platt adds a dramatic finish to two nail-biting hours to book us a quarter-final date with Cameroon. From memory that party, that started on Saturday afternoon, went long into the Sunday!

Beer and alfresco dining are intertwined. Around the same time I recall attending one bash with a friend from the north of Hadrians Wall, and for the one time in my life I was persuaded to ‘kilt up’ in full Highland pipe band regalia. Thankfully the photographic proof is not here. I cannot be persuaded to share it with you.

Without doubt though the most memorable bashes were at the home and studios of eighties music producer, Martin Rushent, when his biggest acts shared his home for an evening with the villagers. A local Chinese restaurant set up shop in the grounds as the famous and the yokels partied the night away.

Looking for memories of those parties on line I found one of the most painful YouTube videos I think I have ever seen.

What a sad sight that is through these old eyes, I don’t mind admitting.

Proof that summer doesn’t last for long, and never has.