Oh to picnic!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 | home, weekend

Sat on a Gatwick Express train, gently swaying through the countryside, all around is green but looking decidedly murky. Today has been muggy, particularly so. There have been glimpses of sunshine in Shoreditch, but mostly it has been threatening a downpour that so far hasn’t come. It is June but this year this gloomy weather does not surprise me.

It does, however, make me long for a picnic. A good, old fashioned, picnic. I yearn for a thick tartan blanket, with slight hints of cat hair. There will be a trestle table that someone has used for wallpapering, with a clean, white tablecloth to cover it. Someone will have brought folding chairs, canvas ones that you sit in momentarily and then fear you may never get out of. There will be cushions, old ones that “don’t matter if they get grass stains”. They will get grass stains. At one side there will be a large umbrella, for shade, that looks like it might blow away in the slightest breeze – someone will try to anchor it.

Ice will be melting around cold bottles of beer and sparkling wine (we may have even splashed out on Real Champagne). There will be sandwiches of all varieties, to suit both carnivores and vegetarians. Smoked mackerel pate, sausage rolls, Camemberthamroastchickensaladscotcheggs…  We’ll be tearing at french sticks, smearing them in slightly warm butter and dropping crumbs everywhere. The seagulls will approve.

And this glorious picnic, this glorious day of lounging on grass and flicking off insects, will descend into the beautifulness that is being half-cut on a summer’s day. There will be giggles, and short barking shouts of amusement. Someone will fall over, they’ll have grass stains too. Fingers sticky with strawberry juice will reach for sparkling water in an effort to keep hydration levels up, this will be a half-hearted attempt and a quick guzzle will soon polish off  what’s left. Pimms will be called for. And we will smile, and tell stories, and moan and complain about the usual little things that make us irritable. We’ll get slight sunburn, but none of us will think to shelter under the umbrella. It will be a splendid day and we will be happy.

So June, please do buck up. You see, I’ve got the plan all sorted.

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