How Do You Picnic?

Take any green open space, some sporadic sunshine and temperatures above 25 degrees, and  they will come.

Doctors, teachers, mechanics, students, hairdressers, micro biologists, dog walkers, gardeners, the retired, their grandkids, their dogs, and their neighbours. Their neighbours’ dogs. And a few more for good measure.

They’ll eat crisps, dip, and carrot sticks. The fancy will have hummus, maybe a grill with some organic, butcher-prepared burgers. Others will content themselves with bread torn unevenly from the baguette and pre-sliced, tasteless cheese. There will be pasta salad and falafel, burritos and wraps, mango chutney and guacamole. Each party mixing foods never meant to be mixed, their own take on what makes the best food to share.

There will be blankets of every shape and design, brand new ones with the label still on overlapping with tired, washed-too-many-times mats. Groups will make circles that get slowly larger as the day goes on, that peak around four as the late risers join. Then slowly the circle will spiral back to a dot, made up of three or four hardy souls who share the last beer or final crumbs of cake.

This is a perfect Sunday afternoon. A normal Sunday afternoon. And look closely, look carefully and see that no matter the group, from their choice of kettle chip to their creed, they all share the enjoyment of sharing. Groups made up of all walks of life all want the same thing: to spend time with people they like on a warm summer day.  Because it’s an observable truth, from the pretty picnic bags to the wafting away of the wasps: we all picnic the same.

 

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The Neckarwiese, Heidelberg. A popular spot
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