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.