Tuesday, 15 August 2017

A Summer Picnic

For the last four years  a couple of friends and myself have held an annual summer event.  This year it was 'A Summer Picnic' .  This is a long post, so before you start reading you might want to grab yourself a beverage of your choosing and a snack or two.

What is this?  A welcoming committee?  Looks like a group of kids eagerly awaiting the arrival of their friends.

From left to right, with much excitement brewing are...  
Maddison, Edward, Rory, Emily, Peggy Sue,, Lewis, Donny, Everlee, Henry with baby Grace and Amelia at the front.

Meanwhile, outside Anne-Marie and Archie were busy setting up the picnic area.

Barbecue, plates and knives and forks (not that I think the utensils were used, as fingers seemed to be the order of the day!)

With one eager toddler waiting with her friends Tigger, Piglet and Winnie the Pooh.

Bonnie wonders how much longer they will be.

Ollie is taking advantage of the pram before the others arrive.  

Anne-Marie and Archie think it is time for a quiet sit down before the party starts.

Ah, peace.  Archie says.

Not for long. Anne-Marie tells Archie.

She was right, it wasn't long before the other children started to make their way out into the garden.

Henry takes charge of the barbecue.  Timothy joins him to keep him company.  Henry admires Timothy's minion shirt.  

Emily keeps an eye on Edmund and his new little sister.

Looks like everyone has found a place to sit and chat or play.

A couple of babies didn't take long to find the food!

Alexis brought her own mini deck chair and is chatting to her friend Holly, while she keeps a close eye on baby Ginger and Zoë

Ginger and Zoë are being very well behaved and are sitting on their new play mat given to them by Doll Mum. They think it is perfectly soft and comfy.

Rory is by the pond and is joined by Edward.

Betsy is chatting to a friend beside the pond, but just far enough away!  They don't like the water much and were a bit worried about being splashed, but Rory assured them he wouldn't do anything like that.

Sapphire is taking it easy in the hammock, a little away from the hustle and bustle of the main picnic area.  She is unusually tired. 

Any frogs?  Edward asks Rory.

Doesn't seem to be any this year.  Rory informs him.  I think it is because we didn't get any plants for the pond this year.

Laura and Miranda seem quite content to just sit underneath the tree on the park bench.  Laura is still recovering from her journey around USA.  

Poor Donny, is hoping for a game of cricket and waits patiently to see if anyone else wants to play.  

Nearly ready.  Henry tells Timothy.

There are lots of goodies for the children to enjoy. 

 Maddison chats to Florence and admires her ever so pretty Festival outfit.  

Lewis and Peggy Sue are already enjoying a cup of tea together.

Everlee is trying to listen in it seems!

Edward looks very wistful...I wonder if he is dreaming of frogs or fish?

Still waiting to play a game of cricket...

Donny is feeling rather let down, so heads off to see what is going on.

Hey guys, do you want to play a game of cricket?  He asks Henry and Timothy.

We have been busy cooking.  Timothy informs him, using the 'Royal We' as of course it is Henry who has been doing the cooking.

Actually I am about to dish up soon.  Henry tells Donny.  So you might as well stay and chat to us.

Great idea!  Donny says...and thinks to himself...I'll also be first in line for the food.

Amelia has found a glove puppet to play with while her little friend Theo plays with the beads. 

Lots of chatting going on.

I wonder how long the food will be?  Peggy Sue thinks to herself.  My stomach is rumbling.

Amy shows off the cat puppet.  

Some one looks like they are in a hurry.  Ollie is caught mid run, the babies look like they are on the move as well...I wonder why?

Food!  Or rather Cake!  Not much escapes the eagle eyes of the littlies.

A queue is forming by the barbecue.  Henry had given the call that the sausages were cooked.

Plates ready?  He asks.

They sure are.  Donny says.

Are you going to have any sausages Laura?  Miranda asks.

I'm not sure.  Laura replies.  I don't really want to mess up my pretty outfit.

Neither do I
. Miranda tells her.  I think we will stick to our biscuits.

Looks like Peggy Sue has got stuck into her carrot cake.

This is all rather civilised really isn't it Anne-Marie?  Archie says.  I was expecting something much more raucous...

Oh they are all pretty well behaved most of the time.  Anne-Marie informs him.  Plus we are lucky it has turned out to be such a nice day.

Bonnie has heard about the food, so is rushing over. 

I thought you said it was ready.  Donny says.

It is, just be patient.  Timothy tells him.  You can't rush a master chef!

But we are hungry!  Donny says.

The movement towards the biscuits and cakes is continuing...

Not much escapes these little guys.

Okay, I am ready to dish up now.  Henry says as he sees the queue has got bigger, and doesn't want them to start pushing each other.

Sapphire reaches over to grab a cake.

Ooh, these look delicious.  She says.

Rory is still distracted by the pond.  He thinks he saw something wriggling in the water and wonders what it is.

Florence has sat down and is joined by a little friend.

Does this sort of thing always happen here?  She asks Florence.

Well not all the time, but we do have a summer event each year.  Florence tells her.  It is a lot of fun.  Usually we have it at my place but this year we decided to come down to Rose Cottage which is where you will be living now.

The first year the theme was Cowboys, Country Girls and Indians although the proper term should have been Native Americans.  

The second year we had a Summer Gymkhana - that was great fun!

Last year we had a Summer Music Festival which was pretty awesome.

Wow!  Says the new girl.  I think I am going to like living in England.

Betsy eyes up Peggy Sue's cake.

There are plenty more. Peggy Sue tells her. 

Melanie is watching the babies.  She looks really pretty in her dress that she got at the Sasha Festival.  The colour really suits her.

Yum, yum.  Sapphire thinks to herself.

Sapphire is enjoying her cake and is having fun with the babies.  

Looks like there might still be a bit of discussion going on about Peggy Sue's cake here!  Or perhaps they were discussing something else... Holly was eager to catch up with all the news.

Maddison has sat down and joined the group.  There seems to be a lot of lively discussion going on.

Donny is just interested in his food at this point..

I wonder what he is thinking?  He looks miles away.

This cup of tea is rather nice.  Thinks Archie. 

The toddlers are eagerly awaiting their sausages.

That's it, hold your plates carefully. Timothy says before Henry gives them each a sausage.

Goodness, Rory actually left the pond side!  It could only have been because of the allure of food!

So what do you think?  Anne-Marie asks Archie.

About what?  Archie asks back.

Well you know...the life, the universe and everything I suppose.  Anne-Marie replies.

Well what I do know is this is a very good cup of tea.  Archie tells her.

The children were left to chat, eat and play while the big people went to enjoy some quiche, sausage rolls, salad, vegetables, cake and of course the compulsory scones with jam and clotted cream, followed with a cup of tea to 'wash it all down'.  

A thoroughly enjoyable day was had by all and the weather was perfect after a month of very changeable weather and rather cold at times temperatures.


  1. You've captured it perfectly - I loved the dialogue and the various little scenes which took place during the afternoon. This one definitely evolved as we went along, which is what happens at the best summer picnics. It was good to be greeted by the sight of the eager picnickers and all the furniture laid out in the garden when we arrived. Thank you for a very happy afternoon.

    1. Thank you for coming, it was a super afternoon and one I enjoyed very much.

  2. looks like a wonderfully relaxed afternoon! I am still wondering if what Rory saw wriggling in the pond will be tadpoles. Guess we will know soon enough....

    1. No tadpoles at this time of year unfortunately. We have since bought some pond plants to hopefully encourage more wildlife.

  3. That was awesome!! Everybody seemed to be having a most wonderful time! Your dolls are soooo lucky to have such wonderful mums!! The time and effort it must have taken to do this for them ( and for yourselves of course ) was well worth it. I loved every photo and every word. If only I could be as good a mum to Ezri and Ayza :) Jane x

    1. It certainly took a long time to set up, and then do the photos etc...and to pack up! So glad you enjoyed it.

  4. What a splendid time! It's wonderful to see so many familiar faces again. Plenty to delicious food and lots of good conversation - what more could one ask for? As always, Henry is the perfect host.

    1. A very good time, conversation and fun was had indeed. Of course the tea and cake is always good as well! Henry is a great host, and turns out he also cooks a mean sausage!

  5. What a wonderful time! So nice to see kids getting along so well, and also welcoming the new ones. :o)

    1. They are always welcoming at Rose Cottage.

  6. Delightful, Lorraine; your dolls are so well behaved, to pose for you without falling over :-) Such fun!



    1. On a whole they are very well behaved... it was a lot of fun.

  7. What a truly wonderful afternoon with everyone having such a great time.
    Particularly adored that little BBQ.
    Must have taken absolutely ages to set up and take down...but well worth it!!

    1. It really was a truly wonderful afternoon Kendal. We had a lot of fun. Isn't that barbecue great?! Yes it did take ages to set up, take down...and put away - in fact rather a few days to finally put everything away! The recovery from the day was worth it.


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