Forgot to mention the crab. Mr WithaY went scuba diving on Sunday, and brought home a big crab.
To eat, I mean. Not as a pet.
He was very excited, called me when the boat docked to tell me to get a big pot of water on the boil so he could cook it as soon as he got home.
"But we're going out to dinner when you get home," I explained. "We can't bring a cooked crab with us. It would look odd."
He eventually agreed, and it was settled that the crab would form the basis for lunch on Monday. A Bank Holiday treat.
We had a splendid evening with our lovely mates in the village, where the general consensus seemed to be that nobody would have minded if we'd brough the crab, but that it wouldn't have gone very well with the fab food already on the menu. So, at least we know for next time.
Anyhoo, come the dawn, Mr WithaY and I engaged on the gardening marathon already mentioned, looking forward to our sustaining lunch of crab sandwiches. Maybe some carrot soup afterwards if we were still hungry.
Lunchtime approached. The crab (cooked by now) was retrieved from the fridge. Hammers, picks and other implements of destruction (heh, waited years to use that quote) were laid out neatly, and the de-shelling process began.
With something of a flourish, Mr WithaY broke into the shell. I watched keenly, trying to identify the more deadly toxic parts of the crab for future reference. There was a small, heartfelt noise of distress from Mr WithaY's end of the kitchen as he discovered that the crab shell was all but empty.
He examined it closely, poking about with skewers and forks, but apart from the actual mechanics of the crab (the engine, I guess) there was nothing but air in there.
A young, tiny weeny crab, wearing a huge, brand new shell his Mum told him he'd grow into, it seems.
Mr WithaY picked every last ounce of crab out of the legs, determined to get at least a snack out of it. It was like the aftermath of a battle sequence from one of the Alien films.
Still, the soup was good. Filling. Just as well, really.