Screws: check. Wing nuts: check. Shiny bright metal bits: check.
Moulded plastic bits: check. Nuts and bolts: check. The instructions in their plastic bag tumble out of the box on to the floor.
Right, it’s time to build the 2013 barbecue.
These days I half expect a bit or two to be missing, or maybe a damaged thread on a screw or two.
But no, everything was there, and to my surprise this thing began to take shape, pleasantly looking like the picture on the box.
As I assembled this representation of balmy summer days I couldn’t help but wonder just how many times it’ll be used.
After all the past two years have hardly delivered on their seasonal names.
Still, one lives in hope, and this simple process takes one to the ultimate “man in garden” nirvana and a cooking experience that brings out the al fresco chef hidden deep in the male psyche.
The one thing that always makes me smile is the inclusion of wheels.
Even on the smallest of such assemblies the plastic wheels make an appearance, yet I know that not once will I push or pull this carrier of white hot coals anywhere once it’s in position on my patio.
My favourite barbecue is, without question, the naturally burning coal with grill and food.
I’ve never understood why anyone would buy an example that is bigger than my kitchen cooker.
Some are massive, complete with control panels, levers and knobs, with industrial rubber pipes leading to gas canisters the like of which I’d only seen strapped to the kitchen side of a mobile home.
Anyway, I’d moved my new barbecue into position and, as I looked at it complete with its new green plastic hat, comprehensively tied to prevent it from blowing away in a force eight gale, I decided that all I needed now was a hot summer’s day.
What are the chances?