The Black Umbrella

In my parents’ garden there is a big black sun umbrella. Sunshade? I don’t know the correct term. You know what I mean.

It is huge. My dad has had to put two paving slabs across its base (which is formed of four metal legs at right angles to the thick round stem that supports the umbrella) to stop the thing toppling over.

It has two locking mechanisms with which you secure the height and angle of the umbrella, plus a winch-style handle that opens and closes the umbrella (but the diagrammatic instructions on the side of the handle show your options as ‘up’ and ‘down’, which is sort of misleading).

It is meant to shield the garden table from the sun, that is, it is positioned as if its function were to provide shade for those sitting at the table.

It is almost impossible to position the umbrella in a way that provides shade for everyone sitting at the table. Also, at this time of year, the sun seems to move quickly, so that even the small amount of shade provided by the umbrella is in the wrong place after ten minutes or so.

And, I forgot to say, my dad has had to attach two bungee ropes to the top of the umbrella stem, to stop the wind from knocking the umbrella over. Although, I think actually that the umbrella wouldn’t be knocked over by the wind, but it is quite disconcerting when it moves above you like a leaden kite, rocking back and forth on its stand.