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MPS Christmas Picnic

What a beautiful day! It started as soon as I opened my eyes this morning and saw that the sky that had been grey for three weeks was blue with light puff clouds. Fantastic! The picnic is on. Ted and I arrived early to obtain the best spot, some shade and sun at Picnic Point, in the Royal Botanical Gardens, entering from Gate A.

Already punting on the pond were the sylph-like 8 seater boats with the Punters in their white Boaters with gaily striped hat bands, and their charges with white Chinese paper umbrellas. Already I am at peace. The birds are singing very sweetly. Then Ted said, “Is it time for a sandwich?” “Of course,” I replied rummaging in one of three bags of food.

Finding the sandwiches, having a small brunch now before the picnic begins.

Ah, someone is coming, it’s Kimm. He gets a very warm welcome. We chat about the day, the sun, the cool breeze and watch the Punts on the water. Then others find their way to the spot, amongst the lush gardens. I’m thinking ‘Wind in the Willows’ now. The different picnic baskets fly open and the food appears; my fig and pecan salad with pomegranates and goats cheese, Ted’s Laksa coated baked chicken wings, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, New Cherrys - “from Young”, thought Phil, and promptly told a story about when he was young and went to a cherry farm at Young on a school trip. I had done the same too having lived my early life in Wagga Wagga, an easy day trip to the latter.

There were other salads, beetroot and hazelnuts with thinly skinny peeled lemon rind made by Vanessa, a great quiche with tiny pieces of succulent asparagus made by Rachael, buns with ham or hot salami from Patricia, and some cheese, and then, there were a variety of french macaroons. Ted had salted caramel, and the 7 children at the picnic dived in too, choosing strawberry, of course, my favourite, chocolate and pistachio. Rachael liked the vanilla ones. I had made my fave flourless chocolate cake and put plenty of raspberry’s around it.

Mrs Kris Kringle, Patricia, gave out the presents, and all had a bit of fun, no swapping occurred. There was a rubber snake, a building kit, a fishy fan to cool a young face. Adults weren’t forgotten by Santa either, plants; basil and lemon myrtle, a home made heat-bag, a book to write in every day, a lemon wrapped in a gorgeous ribbon, some mangoes, some beautiful paper, a bottle of wine and so it goes...

There was a moment when I first looked up from my conversation with Vanessa, to see the children having a great time. The tele between them was very strong, and so they had quickly begun playing many games, totally absorbed and laughing gaily. I felt very moved seeing them enjoying themselves so much.

Yes it was a warm day, warm to the body, the heart and the mind. We met and found each other over 3 1/2 hours, gently being with, casually sharing food and good conversation on our picnic rugs and garden seats, with a surprise visit by the turtles. As it happened often as a child, I arrived home tired but happy. Blessings to everyone. A very lovely day.

Sue Daniel

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