The answer, in case you were wondering, is tennis rackets. It was a gorgeous day, and Imo likes her exercise. Tennis rackets were what we needed, apparently, and that's what we got. We found good ones -- and I mean in a moral sense. The guy in sporting goods talked about a large sweet spot, and mentioned that this particular brand of racket was, and I quote, Very forgiving. My tennis game, like the rest of my life, can do with all the forgiveness I can find, so I bought us rackets. And we went to our local court, and enjoyed the sunshiny afternoon. Sam got confused between tennis and baseball, and thought he was Barry Bonds, and had to keep wriggling through the hole in the fence to chase the balls he hit out, and when he was on the grass he'd hit the balls back onto the court, and we had a three-way game going there for a while, Imo vs Ed and me vs Sam, and we laughed a lot, and time passed.
Yes, time passed, and we got back to the house which was wreathed in smells of cooking lamb, and Imo and I knew we were too late. I ran for the oven, yanked the roast, drained the potatoes, and surveyed our options.
The meat was overcooked, (look what you've done to me, Richard!) but we served it anyway. The potatoes were not new any more (not even factory demo used. They were fourth hand potatoes, lots of mileage on them, practically ready for the scrap heap), so we mashed them, and served them anyway. There was red wine left over from the marinade, a few days old now but I poured it (I'd have poured it lamb or no lamb).
And we washed our hands and sat down.
Great dinner, dad! said Sam, getting up five minutes later. Teens (this just in) eat fast. Yeah, the others chimed in, chewing personfully. And, you know, they meant it. Like the tennis rackets, my kids are very forgiving. Course, they've had practice.