There’s a rhythm to our lives that seems to be largely governed by sport. H’s sport to be precise, and sports plural if we’re really going to nit pick. As the weather turns we hope a little warmer and sunnier we forget all about shivering in the dug out on the side of the hockey pitch as an icy wind threatens to whisk away the scant protection that corrugated plastic can afford, or tucking our feet up onto the bench, and pulling Kitty in close while trying to sing comforting things to a small Elma imprisoned under a waterproof buggy cover as what seems like an entire month’s rainfall falls out of the sky in one fell swoop, with a smidgen of thunder for good measure.
No, away go the hockey sticks and out comes the cricket bat, pads and helmet, and the annual search for the sort-of-maybe-used-to-be-kind-of-whites. It’s cricket season. And as the matches are longer but the teas better, and they cancel if it rains, it’s become a tradition that the ladies of the party provide a little supportive applause from the boundary.
And as yesterday was both gloriously sunny and the first match of the season (which incidentally they very very nearly won, unlike, well every match last year which they very very lost), we decided that it was also time for the first picnic of the season.
I love picnics, there’s just something about eating outdoors that makes ordinary food seem special, and I’ll admit I’m rather fond of the shake the crumbs off the rug version of tidying up. For our first picnic we kept things simple, a nice baguette sliced and filled with ham, a few crisps for those that wanted, my beloved spinach and avocado salad (seriously, I’m going to have iron levels to rival Popeye when they measure them in a few weeks) and some fruit and fruit roll-ups to finish things off, simple but delicious.
We arrived just as H had gone into bat and Kitty sat staring really hard at both batsmen, trying to figure out which of these little white figures in the distance belonged to her, until one of them waved at her and she settled down to a little watching and a lot of munching.
Elma put away more picnic than you’d ever think a little girl could possibly manage and then took to showing off her new walking skills by tottering off into the distance,
or going to see the scorers to check they were getting it right
We came home for supper, bath and bedtime long before the match finished but the girls loved their afternoon running around in the sun trying on everyone’s cricket helmets (with their permission) and I strongly suspect they both fell asleep this evening dreaming of the sun on their skin and the doughnuts and squash they purloined from the tea table. It was just the way to start the spectator season!