Checking through the photo archives, I find that my initial memories of the last time we lit the barbecue at Millbrooker Towers were about right.
The large fire pit on wheels was last set ablaze in the summer of 2007. This long hiatus was caused mostly by a succession of poor summers but also by a touch of laziness and a smidgeon of bad timing.
However, yesterday evening the outdoor space that we laughingly refer to as our "garden" was filled with the odours of gently smouldering charcoal and sizzling meats.
The occasion was organised so that Dong and Shazzerooneypoos could get their fair shares of the chipolata and merguez sausages that we'd jointly bought in Brittany but hadn't consumed there.
The bangers would undoubtedly have sufficed as meaty treats, but barbecues traditionally have to have too much meat, so I asked Auntie Sharon to bring along some lamb as well, which I marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, rosemary and garlic before skewering the cubes and plopping them onto the grill.
Before long the mass of dead French lamb and pig in tubes joined the scrummy kebabs (or brochette d'agneau if you want to sound posh) atop the coals.
Dong and Shazzerooneypoos kindly sponsored a bottle of fizzy stuff to start the evening off with a toast to Mrs The Millbrooker's academic achievements.
And pretty soon the "do" was in full swing.
The bottle count grew to a quite impressive level, not an unexpected eventuality when Dong and I get to slurping the red stuff.
Gradually the summer evening light faded and it was time to head back indoors complete with left over sausages, several of which found their way onto my breakfast plate this morning. Mmmm Mmmmm Mmmmm.