Ho ho ho!
As Jac and I are away from home for Christmas, my family got together for a Christmas picnic by the river a couple of weekends ago at Hinds Reserve in Bayswater, next to the ANA Rowing Club.
Jac dropped me off earlier with our trestle tables, fold-up chairs, life jackets and two kayaks. She then drove home to grab the second two kayaks which belong to my friend Prez (we provide storage of the kayaks in our garage and are free to use them). While she was gone, I choped a shady spot for our picnic, with wooden bench, close to the playground and toilets within easy walking distance. The word “chope” is one Malaysians and Singaporeans will know about, but westerners will know the concept – placing one or more of your possessions to mark a chosen spot as ‘taken’.
In this case, I choped and set up camp at the same time. When everyone arrived with more chairs and food, we got ready for our breakfast feast.
Juji made turkey, brie & cranberry rolls and spinach & feta rolls. These were fantastic, gorgeous to pull apart with your hands. I really hope she makes them again (was that hint obvious enough?).
By special request, Mum brought rice porridge with pork meatballs and ribs, kept hot in her “Magic Cooker”, along with all the essential trimmings – yow char kwai (Chinese crullers), chopped spring onion, fried shallots, garlic oil, soy sauce. She even brought a thermos of hot water to help water down the porridge if anyone thought it was too gluggy – which it wasn’t! It was baby bear perfect.
My sister CW made one of her bountiful fruit platters, this one with stone fruit, summer berries, cherries, grapes, mangoes and everybody’s favourite – fruity shish kebabs.
After the first round of food, the kids worked off their energy in the playground.
The kayaks proved to be a big hit. The children have been in kayaks before and were much more comfortable in them than their doggy cousins. Leggy Mia wasn’t a kayaker, preferring to just walk or gallop through the water. The chihuahuas Paco and Pepi were torn between wanting to be with their human parents, perching nervously in the kayaks versus watching from afar, safe and dry but alone on the shore.
I had no desire to get into a kayak but had a great time photographing everyone else kayaking.
Note: My family were quite happy for pictures of their kayaking (and picnicking!) prowess to be shared on the blog. Jac still doesn’t want her photo shown on the blog, which is why there are none of her. And of course, as usual, no one took any pictures of me!
After all that activity, we were ready for dessert – Angela’s homemade mini fruit cakes and shortbread caramel sandwiches.
After wiping down sticky fingers and brushing away crumbs, more fun – M brought bubble wands and showed the kids how to use them.
Merry Christmas, guys! And if you don’t celebrate Christmas as such, I hope you enjoy the holiday season. I’ve been posting updates from Melbourne and King Island this past week on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and am now in Hobart to enjoy Christmas with Jac and a couple of our friends. Stay tuned for blog posts about this trip in the new year.
Where are you and what are you doing for Christmas?