Friday, October 3, 2008

A picnic and feeling good (Februari 24, 2007)

Today I am actually feeling well. For the first time in ages it seems. Granted, I am tired, but even that doesn't signify. I can move, I can do things, even if it is slowly. And after the last few hard weeks, this must be celebrated! But how to celebrate without risking that wonderful feeling of simple well being that we otherwise take for granted? My husband and I decided on a picnic in the local park. The weather here in South Carolina has been quite nice the last few days, mid sixties and only a mild wind.
I love picnics, and I can only encourage everyone to take the oportunity for one as often as possible.
Simple picnics need not much more than a few apples, boiled eggs and crackers, more elaborate ones can include everything from wine, and quiche, olives or croissants, intricate salads and homebaked muffins or scones. In Belgium in summer, picnics were something my best friend and I often enjoyed together. Some days when the weather was fine one of us just called the other saying: "are you in the mood to go to the park tonight for a picnic?" Both of us would scrape together whatever we had in the cupboard, and on a simple blanket we would eat whatever we had brought.
Other picnics were prepared with more care or even style. There was the day when the city, to celebrate a car-less sunday, in which no cars except for taxies and emergency vehicles were allowed in the city, invited all the citizens who wanted to for a free breakfast. The breakfast provided by the city was simple; one or two sandwishes, hardboiled eggs and a piece of fruit. Everywhere in the city there were performances, picnics, and other delights. We decided to participate in style. Both of us dressed up, with gown and hat, and made a picnic worthy of an Edwardian outing. We had quiche, strawberries, crackers with delicate creamcheese, crisps, fresh cut ham, fresh juice, nice hot earl grey tea, salmon and a salad. Of course this needed glass and porcelain to make things truely fine, and the both of us enjoyed our 'Edwardian Al Fresco Brunch' while sitting at a small table near the quais of the river Schelde, enjoying passing boats, a light breeze and the street theaters and musicians that the city had organised. To this day, it still is one of my favorite memories. Just a bit of creativity and time. On the other hand, there is something to say as well for these days in which you simply ramsacked the cupboards and with three apples and a bag of crisps from one participant, some olives and crackers from another and philadelphia and orange juice from a third created a wonderful evening of conversation and laughter while the sun went slowly down over the pond in the park.
Spring is nearing, everyone. Happy picnicing.

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