What is it about planning a barbecue in Britain? It seems to be an almost foolproof way to manipulate the weather. Let's say that you plan a barbecue to celebrate someone's birthday on Saturday night. Friday will inevitably be gloriously sunny, balmy and generally perfect weather for cooking and consuming food outdoors. Likewise, Sunday will also be warm and sunny, with a pleasant gentle breeze. On Saturday — more specifically Saturday evening — it will start to pour with rain just after you have set everything up, wrestled with the almost waterproof gazebo, and lit the barbecue.
There will be some 'stiff-upper-lip' types of debates about the possibility of wearing waterproof coats while eating ("It isn't raining that hard...") before the participants concede defeat. The chef cooks outside with the aid of a large umbrella, and everyone eats without their coats on indoors. Despite the best efforts of the British climate, a good time was had by all.