Posted by: lucylastic | August 4, 2008

It’s summer, let’s have a picnic!

I noticed that my friend Gail has blogged twice about different aspects of picnic-ing lately, but felt I had to make a contribution of my own to this most English of summer pastimes. Once a year, usually the second Saturday in August, the extended ‘Morgan’ (my dad) family gets together for it’s annual picnic. Always in the grounds of Old Wardour Castle – just down the road from my father’s childhood home and a truly outstanding setting. Famous for being the scene of several skirmishes during the Civil War and ancestral home of the Arundel family, (whose daughter I used to play with when younger), it also saw some filming for the film Robin Hood, Prince of Theives, and has lovely gardens, sweeping Fir and Cedar trees and a gentle walk down to a lake behind the castle. In my childhood, we went there often, and were told to chant to the gatekeeper “good morning, we’re Morgan’s”, upon which we’d be granted free access to the grounds and the delights within. I’m not sure anymore why we were blessed with this privilege – maybe children from the local village got free access…..

This year, it didn’t go quite according to plan. Firstly, the picnic was brought forward to avoid some sort of Civil War re-enactment which is due to take place this coming Saturday, then many people who had had the original date in their diaries for months found themselves unable to accommodate the change and thirdly, once again, it started raining. It rained most of Friday afternoon and it rained all night, at 10.30am on Saturday morning it was still raining in Tisbury, (2 miles away from Old Wardour and home to my parents). A decision was made – ‘we’re not going’. A mud bath doesn’t appeal – we’ll muster at my borother’s place instead. From my perspective, this had lots of advantages – a half hour drive instead of almost 2 hours – but best of all, a decent loo and a patio close to the kitchen and a good supply of chilled Pimms. It was dull and gloomy as we left home, it rained along the motorway – but by the time we pulled into his drive just outside Bath, the sun had come through and was shining gloriously. And it shined all afternoon, in fact, it was still shining when we left at 6.15pm. I have never believed that the sun only shines on the righteous, but it certainly shone on the smug last Saturday. We enjoyed every bit of it. And sharing the picnic from the civilised top of a dining table seemed much better than scrambling around in the mud!!!

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