The almost-gratuitous second picnic


It seems like such a treat to have one picnic of a weekend, but to have such an enjoyable second picnic seems nearly wanton. I loved it so much, I’ll catch you up on my yesterday.
The sun shone warmly down on us from very early in the morning but thanks to the cardboard shutters we made, Niece and Neff allowed us to sleep until 5:55am (which, I am given to understand, is what those Parent Types call ‘A Lie-In’). They consented to staying in bed with Small Electronic Games and only called me once every ten minutes to tell me life-shatteringly important stuff like “I can’t find my stick for the game [stylus]” or “I want to go back to sleep”
At 7 we got up (the kids, excitedly; the adults, begrudgingly) and assembled round the breakfast table, only to be greeted with the conundrum of Niece (having finished her toast) asking “Is there pudding now?” in her best ‘sweet’ voice. The answer from all sides (and even from Neff) was a resounding “No.” Poor love.
Getting our acts together, we went to visit some rabbits and a cat locally, whom I am feeding over the weekend. I’d checked with their owner, and she had kindly invited Niece and Neff to come and bounce on their trampoline while I fed the animals. They. Loved. It. The trampoline would have struggled to fit into my living room, it was so big, and even I had a little go!

Back home and the second picnic packed, off we went to the beach.
Now I don’t know about you and whether or not you drive, and if (when you drive) you find that when you’re a little bit tired, the road ahead can seem to roll towards you (rather like one of those video games) rather than you rolling over it. Anyway, I got to that stage and wound the window down to try to keep myself from thinking that sleeping at the wheel was any kind of appropriate, then looked round the car and saw that EVERYONE else was asleep. Including Husby, who (as I looked at him) snored insouciantly. What a cheek! I was very tempted to stop in a layby (or even a nearly-a-layby, or a driveway, or just a patch of grass on the verge of the road) and join them, but every time I slowed down for traffic lights etc. Neff would groggily start upright and ask (with closed eyes) “Arreweat’abeachnow?”
Eventually we were at the beach and we got out, picnicked gloriously on a blanket on the sand and (quite disappointingly) not one pink pancake was scoffed. After all that! We enjoyed our feast though, and afterwards, Niece built a ‘ship’ from rocks and sand while Neff happily trotted back and forth to the (very distant – the tide was out) waves and filled his bucket over and over to try to pour water into a purpose-built hole near the ship, wondering each time at the water sinking into the sand and disappearing.
The best bit was that I turned to Husby and effectively told him “Tag, you’re it!”, laid down, put a towel over my face and had a bit of a nap while he watched the children. He kindly let me nap for longer than I originally said, even though he was finding the sun quite difficult to sit in, which was very sweet of him.
It was *exactly* like this
After a while it got too toasty warm and we packed up to go to the playpark, where the children pretty much entertained themselves, which was great. We followed them at a distance and chatted, but they very definitely did all the playing without adult intervention being required.
On the way home, we stopped in a little village to peruse a garage sale held for the Cancer Research UK charity. Niece fell in love with a china doll and Neff examined every item (twice) and finally chose some weird, musical metal balls which we were told were for physical therapy of the hands. I’ve also heard them described as Chinese meditation balls. As long as he didn’t try to meditate any Chinese or physical therapy them against the windows of my car, I was fine with it.
Then Niece was hungry again.
I found an actual layby and stopped the car to get the children a cup each and some rainbow drops. I felt very proud of my idea – deep, plastic picnic cups to hold the tiny snacks, so that a) they could hold them in a packet which wouldn’t break and drop them all over my car and b) I could give them a portion and they could just sit there with it as I drove. Two cups of rainbow drops doled out, passed back and…Niece dropped them in an asplosion of bright, puffed rice, all over the back of the car.
I’m not sure it was deliberate, but I’m not sure it was an accident, so I erred on the side of caution, didn’t tell her off but also didn’t refill the cup (she had a few in the bottom). Then Neff gallantly stepped in and shared his with her. He was offered more (but declined), but the upshot was that both children (and the car) had aplenty.
Upon returning home, I cleaned the car (read; I vaguely waved a dustpan and brush at it, tried to ping all the little rainbow drops into one place, then accidentally spilled them out again and left some behind because by that point I didn’t care and at least they look pretty) the children went home to their Mother…and I went to bed!
Total, utter bliss.
Ten Things of Thankful
 Yesterday’s Ten Blogs of Thankful  turned out to be #10! Who knew?

I committed to attempting ten days of ten things of thankful, and I did it! I even only messed it up once!

And now there’s the brand new blog hop starting, with (by the look of it) many more wonderful co-hosts than I ever thought possible! I think we’re onto something. We’ve all recognised the need for a little bit more of a pause, a reflect, and some commitment to finding the joy in life. And there are days when that’s more necessary than others.

Tomorrow I’m going to extend my challenge to myself and begin Two Weeks of Ten Things of Thankful, and then next weekend, the blog hop will begin (do check back and join in, either in comments or by submitting your own link).

Today I’m thankful that so many people want to get involved and sharing the warm fuzzies, which sometimes float around in abundance and sometimes need to be dragged out of hiding by the scruff of their neck, but are always there.

Have a sneak preview of the banner, and let me know what you think of it (I’m still at ‘design phase’, darlings!)


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