The rain is drumming on the parasol and the wind blowing through the trees is unusually cold for the season. The lake, just down the slope in front of me, lies flat and gray like a piece of slate, reflecting the dismal sky. The embers in the barbecue glow red, heating me up just enough to keep standing here. The summer shouldn’t be cold and wet like this but the sun is conspicuous by its absence. Two steps to the side I would be miserable yet here, in this little pocket of dry warmth, it’s strangely cozy; like sitting inside watching the rain through the window but somehow more acute. All I lack now is the typical barbecue beer…perhaps exchanged for a cup of hot chocolate.