The Family Picnic

This is how our Sunday afternoon played out.

Mr UnStepford has been a bit tense lately. He’s stressed AND he has a cold. We all know that a man-cold is so very much worse than a lady-cold. So naturally he’s in a really bad way.

For the past few weeks I have taken it upon myself to organise relaxing Sunday family outings to ease his stress, and the Sunday-night blues. Today’s outing was a BBQ dinner down at the Noosa River.

I packed an esky with a nice bottle of wine and few beers, some sausages for the BBQ, cheeses, crusty rolls, a wedge of butter, and a tangy home-made coleslaw. Simple but tasty fare.

When we arrived there was a howling wind blowing off the water  (I hate wind, really hate it.)  Still, we gritted our teeth and stoically set up camp at a table where our first argument was over the importance of using a tablecloth. (For me: very important. For him: about as important as eating vegetables, which is not important at all. In his world.)

I rather cleverly and boy-scoutedly devised a way to tie the tablecloth to the table, thereby getting my way and having an aesthetically pleasing and hygienic dinner table even if all the food kept blowing into the sand.

I laid out the cheese platter, and the wind was so strong that it actually blew most of the crackers off the table. I found myself running into the middle of Gympie Terrace to retrieve half our canapés. (At this point, was starting to think that this is not so relaxing and fun.)

So the Mr went for a stroll to find a ‘better table’, beckoned me over and we set up again.

Then my glass of wine blew over.

So the Mr went for a stroll to find a ‘better table’, beckoned me over AGAIN and…you know the drill. I was starting to get a touch crabby by this stage because each table was no better than the first, but we were getting further and further away from the lavatories (essential to be close when picnicking with a five year old) and miles away from the actual BBQ which was why we were there in the first place.

Mr UnStepford trooped off to cook the sausages, and that’s the last I saw of him for half an hour. Lulu frolicked merrily in the river, then tipped a bucket of sand on her head. (Why? WHY?) Meanwhile, I needed an anchor to keep our food from flying away.

It was a classic case of ‘best laid plans’.  I felt like a cartoon mum, saying through gritted teeth with a big fake smile, ‘isn’t this FUN! Isn’t it lovely to be TOGETHER?’, while a black cloud boils furiously above her head.

But after we had eaten our sandy cheese & crackers and our sausages, we took a walk to get gelato, and suddenly it felt as though we’d had a really lovely time.

Isn’t life funny sometimes? That is one mighty powerful gelato.