How to have a picnic
We show you how to have a picnic in a park, in the rain, in your mate’s house and in a pub. Oh, we show you how to have a picnic, all right! The best picnic there EVER was!
It’s Sunday: the sun is shining (maybe), the birds are singing (hopefully), you’ve already watched the Hollyoaks omnibus and in your purse lies only last night’s travelcard and a receipt for a £30 round of drinks – ergo, you’re broke and bored. A few calls to your friends confirms that nobody can afford little more than a McDonalds Happymeal and the looming return of the daily grind on Monday morning has everybody in a state of lethargic depression.
What is a girl to do in said dire situation?
Go on a picnic, of course!
Nothing can make you feel more child-like and free of responsibilities than sitting on a rug eating out of a basket. Yet at the same time, arranging a picnic can give you an amazing sense of being in control and can feel, well, quite civilised. Sort of like a grown up, really.
Organising a picnic is simple, and far more fun that organising a house party or a night out. There are no age restrictions – there should be nothing in a park that can be deemed inappropriate for little ‘uns so y’all can bring the apples of your eyes to join in the festivities, unless it’s a naked picnic, but that’s a whole other how-to guide.
You don’t have to worry about an over zealous guest trashing your stereo or vomiting in your bed. You don’t have to be anywhere at a specified time lest you not be allowed in or the entry price has doubled. Picnics can go on all day and nobody has to stay for the entire event – we know you all have places to be.
So how do you make sure your outdoor lunching experience goes off without a hitch? Well you can’t – sorry, kids. We all know a picnicker’s worst enemy is rain and aside from checking the weather report there is not much you can do to compete with mother nature. You can, however, have a contingency plan.
THROWING A PICNIC WHEN THE GODS ARE SMILING ON YOU
If the weather is perfect, you’re onto a winner. This is why most picnics tend to be impromptu – you wake up, it’s a nice day, picnic!
If this is how you roll, arrangements are simple. First pick a venue. If it’s a last minute gig, somewhere fairly close by is your best bet so everybody can get there sharpish before the sun runs away. You want somewhere pretty and that is not likely to be completely overrun with people playing croquet or whatever it is children do in parks these days.
Call everybody you know (well not everybody, you only want pleasant, happy-go-lucky types at a picnic) and tell them the venue. Otherwise it will just be you in a park with a sandwich, and nobody wants to see that.
There won’t be much room for dictating what everybody should bring, as an impromptu picnic involves people grabbing what they can find in their fridge and heading out the door pronto. That’s fine, it can be more fun that way. You never know what crazy food might make an appearance. ‘Reggae Reggae sauce, anybody?’
Grab a blanket to sit on, your ipod if you’ve got speakers to go with it, an umbrella in case the Gods get angry, and you’re sorted. Picnic preparations done.
OPTIMISTICALLY FORWARD-PLANNING A PICNIC
If you are willing to take a chance on the weather, arranging a picnic in advance can be really fun, as there is no end to the things you can bring with you and the people you can invite. There’s no maximum capacity in a park (well, there might be, but I’m sure you don’t have that many friends).
Firstly, choose somewhere to go. You’ve got a bit more choice of you’re planning in advance, because people can work out how they’re going to get there and set off in plenty of time.
If you’re UK-based, take a look at The Guardian’s