Sunday, September 28

Picnics

While reading over at Jelly's about their Disco Dance party, I was reminded of when our children were young.

We loved having picnics. We would pack our picnic fare, & off we would go, to some riverbank, or park or even to visit friends who lived on a farm.

I pinched this pic from the Internet. It seemed to represent everything romantic & enticing about picnics. The checkered cloth the basket, the goodies in plenteous array. The thermos flasks of hot coffee, cold lemonade.



It doesn't depict the oftentimes reality of picnics in the open. The sandflies at the River bank, the glaring sun, the sprinting off to catch a child about to leap into the river! The ants trying to share the food, the sand if we were at the beach. The proximity of dog droppings or the waft of pigs, at the farm, if the wind changed direction.

The rashes from too much sun, sandfly bites, or grass allergy. Ah the 'free treats'.

Of course there really were 'free treats'. The children invariably had fun, & the friendly games of tennis ball cricket would amuse.

Until my head, aka as the Ball Magnet, collected a ball in the face!



Because we lived in an inner city hotel, we didn't have lawns or a garden, so a picnic was a great chance to get out in the fresh air.

We would hire a big van, & a whole bunch of us would go down to Ashburton to the races, on Boxing Day. A country Race meeting, trots (Harness?) if I recall. It was usually very hot, & we had a designated driver.

The first year we did the group thing, we took our cars, & I was the driver, for our little group. Needless to say the others were all the worse for wear at the end of the day. Our children loved these days, & as we were the only ones who had children, they were always made a great fuss of, & grew to be very good conversationalists, with adults.

Gom, who was HYPH -Happy Young Publican Husband- in those days, let our daughter mix the drinks for everyone, one year. We found out that she had been adding a 'little of everthing' to the drinks. No wonder there were some very sore heads, & some slumbering passengers on the way home!


On other picnic occasions,we would pack our picnic fare, & off we would go, to some riverbank, or park or even to visit friends who lived on a farm, where we would sit out in the paddock!

I think this particular picnic, was a Barbeque, & it was early Spring, which can be rather cold. Friend D was cooking the meat, & we tried to find a sheltered spot out of the wind.

The quality of these grainy old photos is very poor. They have been in an Album with the sticky pages, & the plastic covers, & I suspect the film was not very good either.



Perhaps our favourite picnics were the ones we had at home. On the lounge room floor.



I would prepare all the the usual suspects in the way of food & drink, & we would spread out a cloth or rug, & sit on the floor, & pretend the grey skies outside did not exist. We could even have the gas heater going, when it was really cold, or even snowing.



We were lucky enough to have a huge lounge, & it was easy to pretend we were not at home. We would play music, & games, & always had a lot of fun.



We liked to play board games, or I Spy- pity I didn't make quilts in those days.



When we lived in that Hotel, I made what we called Filled Rolls for the bars every day. These were long bullet shaped rolls, & I would fill them with salad & various meats. I would have a whole bench full of rolls waiting to be filled, & would go flat out to get them all ready.



I then wrapped them in cling film & HYPH would take them downstairs to the bars, while I would take the children to school. Of course I made the children some for lunch, while I was making the Bar fare.



Occasionally I would buy savouries & little cakes or treats, go & collect the children from school, & we would go to a park, & have a little picnic lunch, before I would take them back to school.

Once one of my daughter's teachers told me her mouth watered every time she saw my daughter's lunch. She was shocked one day when DJ was buying a pie. It turned out DJ had sneaked her pocket money out to buy a pie! Hence Pie buying one day a week ensued, as well as the little picnics for variety.




14 comments:

Mike said...

I would like to say that I have good memories associated with picnics, but I don't. Seems like it's never anything but bugs and bad weather.

Glad you have some good memories from yours though.

ancient one said...

Picnics, what are those? Just kidding.. I remember school trips and taking along a lunch.. to eat with the others on picnic tables.. And a couple of times when we would be out with the family we'd buy sandwich fixings and find a picnic table... Then we discovered KFC... each person had their own box of chicken and fixings and eaten on a picnic table at the beach was wonderful...

A couple of times we'd take a blanket out to the pasture with the grandchildren and eat our snacks... I remember... don't know that they do...LOL

I really prefer eating inside.. bugs and flies.. do not make for good food!

Granny J said...

I'm sure we were still having picnics when our kids with their kids arrived to visit during the warm months, at least until my husband's death 5 years ago. I still love picnics; we have some excellent places hereabouts, since our city is on the edge of a national forest.

Jellyhead said...

It sounds like you had a lot of fun with your kids out picnicking. I love that you had picnics on your living room floor! - very creative!

Linds said...

Memories are such fun, and I loved picnics. I used to go crayfishing up the coast when I was a student, and we would cook the crayfish (lobster) in sea water on the beach and eat it with torn up bits of fresh bread. Wonderful. Picnics in the mountains were great too, and then of course, the ones, like you, on the floor in the lounge on rainy days when the kids were small. I love memories!

bluemountainsmary said...

I loved picnics as a child and now that the weather is warming up I am looking forward to a few picnics at the lake.

I used to love reading about the picnics in Wind in the Willows, Famous Five, Secret Seven, Swallows and Amazons etc...

Linds said...

I got that too from my comments, Meggie - thanks for noticing. A friend has told me I will probably need a new knee. So I still wait to see what the Consultant has to say. It goes on.....

Pauline said...

your blog is so well named - you have the ability to make do with almost anything and see it as a plus. what a good attitude!

my mama made us kids a picnic lunch every sunny summer day. we spread a blanket on the lawn and whatever was planned for lunch that day was eaten out of doors - even soup! we loved picnic lunches and often fell asleep on the blanket alongside mama after eating ;)

Tanya Brown said...

It's funny how a distance of only ten years or so can change one's outlook. I'm sure that to a child, the sandflies, ants and invasive sand of your memories were a beloved feature.

Son and I do picnics frequently, a consequence of my constantly hauling around a small cooler of food in case he gets hungry. (He's rail thin, in the 20% percentile for weight and 95% for height. It worries me a bit. I swear, we aren't starving him!)

It sounds as though your kids had an enchanted childhood. Your rolls sound lovely. I have a sudden desire to go make a bunch of turnovers, or perhaps some pasties ...

Thimbleanna said...

Ahhh picnics. I loved them when I was growing up. And they're probably one of my greatest regrets from when my kids were growing up -- we didn't go on enough picnics. Thanks for another great post Meggie!

paula said...

Such lovely memories Meggie. And? I think the yellowed photos just add to the feeling...

Tanya said...

I remember in high school my girlfriend and I would go buy a variety of cheeses and crackers and have a picnic. We thought we were so sophisticated though we always ate the mild cheeses and took home the sharp "for a special time" that never came. I think the dog liked the sharp cheese.

quiltmom said...

Hi Meggie,
What great photos of you and the kids on a picnic. We had picnics mostly when we were camping- my parents were great campers when we were kids. It was true camping- tents and no toilets- the bush was just fine for us..LOL Now my parents have a truck with a big trailer that has a TV and shower in it... They don't camp much anymore as they are in there mid 70's....

Thanks for all the great emails lately- some of them were too funny for words and others were true groaners. I loved both..

Regards,
Anna

Ali Honey said...

I was lucky enough to grow up going on picnics to beach, river or lake almost every weekend during the Summer. My Dad loved that sort of thing. My Mum of course had to make ready all the food. Sometimes we would take enough for lunch and tea if we were going any distance. We took all sorts of different food with us.