"I'm going to have the daintiest things possible....things that will match the spring, you understand...little jelly tarts and lady fingers, and drop cookies frosted with pink and yellow icing, and buttercup cake. And we must have sandwiches too, though they're not very poetical"
- Anne of Avonlea; L.M. Montgomery
It is full on spring here, Spring flirting with summer. Warm and green. Winter and Fall are for staying put and cultivating your roots down deep. Then there are the seasons for moving and growing. Seasons to be outside.
The spring months are when you crave to be outside soaking up sunshine and feeling grass between finger tips. My heart craves picnics for aren't they just the sweetest thing.? I got my picnic wish last week complete with rich chocolate cake, parmesan crumbed chicken with an apple and fennel slaw, vegetable sticks, kiwi dip (for the nostalgia), fresh berries and one of the most beautiful souls you will ever meet. This picnic was for reconnecting and for sunshine.
“Insulated from natural contacts with earth, air and sunlight, by corsets pressing on the solar plexus, by voluminous petticoats, cotton stockings and kid boots, the drowsy, well-fed girls lounging in the shade were no more a part of their environment than figures in a photograph album, arbitrarily posed against a backcloth of cork rocks and cardboard trees.”
― Joan Lindsay, Picnic at Hanging Rock
We shared crisp lemonade and a cheeky Japanese cigarette and unloaded stories of what we have missed from each others lives since the summer. She told me of life back in New Zealand which caused a physical ache of homesickness in my gut and of her latest adventures in Japan. We chose a grassy spot opposite the Opera House, (because grass and a decent view are very important when having a picnic), a busker set up and played a constant stream of background music for us. It was as beautiful as a day can be.
Picnics are one of my most favourite things in the world. Probably stemming from a childhood infatuation with the whimsical literary picnics of old. The famous five with their boiled eggs and buttered bread. The girls of hanging rock with white frocks and Miranda leaping off the pages ethereal and slightly melancholy and their feast of chicken pies and a giant love heart cake – it was valentines after all. There were the picnics in Wind in the Willows, and while I myself would pass on tongue sandwiches they still made me yearn for the outdoors and friends like Rat and Mole.
The essentials of any picnic must be a decent blanket, a little music or perhaps a book of poetry, refreshing drinks, sandwiches or cold pies and cake of some kind. Cheese, crackers, pear and wine may also be called for. Oh and maybe a flower crown. Because if you cant wear a flower crown at a picnic where can you? But do tell, do you enjoy picnics? What are your picnic essentials?