Tag Archives: picnic

1595. Weather report

The jolly internet has gone down. It sometimes does that during a storm. Apparently there’s a raging wind outside so I’m not surprised that things have got a bit shaky. The trouble is I’ve got a deadline to get an article to a local paper within the next two hours, which is why I got out of bed so early to write it. The Tourist Bureau puts out a free newspaper every week. I had better get the article ready in preparation to send the minute the internet connection comes back. I said I would report on the weather and surf conditions at the beach at Whangamata, which is fifty miles away. It’s the summer season, and people will want to check things before coming to the beach.

Early this morning I took a stroll along the beach at Whangamata. People, even at this early hour, were taking their dogs for a walk, throwing sticks and Frisbees. A couple of runners were enjoying the early morning to get in their exercise for the day. The sunrise was magnificent. It transformed the sea and its gentle waves into summer gold! Already several groups of people were setting up where clearly they were going to spend the day, swimming and lying in the brilliant sunshine. I expected the beach to get fairly crowded as the day progressed, and indeed I was right. As I returned from my walk a lot of sun-worshippers had descended on the beach with hampers loaded with picnic lunches. It was to be a typical day at the lovely Whangamata beach.

I asked one gentleman with a fishing rod where the best places to fish were, and he said anywhere beyond the swimming flags placed there by the surf life-savers. I also asked if he ever caught anything, and he said he got the occasional snapper and also gurnard, especially when the weather was brilliant like it is today. With his electric Kontiki longline fishing line the baited fishhooks could be taken way out to sea in such calm weather. The snapper and gurnard come a bit closer to shore in the spring and return to the depths in the autumn, so hooking them in summer is within the Kontiki’s range.

So come on down, visitors to the region! It’s safe! It’s sunny! Grab a towel and head for the beach! It’s always summer at Whangmata!

I see the internet is now back up, so I’ll send this article to the editor before this frightful weather outside causes an electric blackout.

1419. Welcome!

The Innes Family of Stockton Street were excited. They were sponsoring a distant cousin from England. Tommy was eighteen years old, had no brothers and sisters, and his parents had passed on. Mr and Mrs Innes had met him (years ago) on their trip to the Old Country. How would he like to live with us and start a new life in New Zealand?

Tommy was more than capable. He organized everything possible from his end. Meanwhile, the Innes Family repainted the spare bedroom, made new curtains, and generally made his room as welcoming as possible.

Oh the excitement among the Innes children as the day drew near!

“We don’t want to rush things,” said Mrs Innes. “Just take things slowly. Tommy will need time to adjust to his new country.”

He arrived! It was as if he had been part of the family all his life! It was a perfect arrangement!

On the first Saturday (with grandma as well) they packed a picnic, crammed into the old car, and headed for the river.

“A picnic at the river, a swim, fresh air, will do us all good,” said Mr Innes.

And Tommy drowned.

1078. A happy ending for once

Myrtle was an accomplished writer. She posted a story every day on her blog. People complained however: Why do you always kill your characters off? Can’t you have a happy ending for once? But Myrtle refused.

She liked to kill her characters off. It was like murdering without a prison sentence. Such fun! And so like life!

Stubborn, murdering Myrtle began to type her daily story:

Ferdinand and Mavis were having a picnic in an idyllic spot under a large eucalyptus tree. Mavis had made the loveliest cucumber sandwiches and Ferdinand had brought along a bottle of his home brew to share on the picnic rug.

“Will you marry me, Mavis?” asked Ferdinand going down on one knee.

“Oh Ferdinand! Of course I will,” said Mavis, bursting into a smile.

Suddenly, a violent storm struck. There was a loud crack heard from the eucalyptus tree. The tree began to tragically fall. Ferdinand and Mavis were…

Dear Reader. Myrtle was about to slaughter her characters once again. But they were saved! They were saved! Hurrah! Myrtle dropped dead from a heart attack before she could type out the word “killed”.

Aha! a happy ending after all!

354. Birthday picnic


Zara had twin sons. They were now about eighteen, but still lived at home with their mother. She had brought them up on her own since they were small.

Now Gunther and Goff were boys about town. Sometimes they would come home a little tipsy, and Zara would say, “Why can’t young people enjoy themselves without booze?”

“Because Mum,” Goff and Gunther would say.

It was Zara’s birthday, and the two boys decided to surprise her. “Mum,” they said, “we’re taking you on a picnic. Just the three of us.”

So they packed a big picnic hamper. The boys put in some wine – “Mum likes a little wine” – and set off for the forest.

They walked the forest track, perhaps for an hour, carrying the hamper. It wasn’t heavy, but it wasn’t light either. They stopped at the most beautiful lake.

When they opened the hamper they discovered plates and knives and cups and wine, and no food! They had left the food behind!

They sat and talked and drank the wine, and had a lovely, lovely time. Zara even got a little tipsy!

“Thank you, boys,” said Zara, “for a beautiful birf, beautiful birfday.”

“It just goes to show,” said Gunther and Goff, ever so slightly tipsy themselves, “that older people can enjoy themselves without food.”

272. Teddy Bears’ Picnic


When it was the town’s annual Teddy Bears’ Picnic in the Park, the whole town gathered with their hampers. And everyone brought their teddy bears. It didn’t matter if you were nine or ninety. Out came the teddy bears! And all food and drink was generously shared.

The event had begun a good thirty years ago, when Noeline Rattray organised the first. Since then, not a year had been missed. This was the first time that the occasion had been organized by a committee. Noeline was no longer part of it. She was too old.

The committee broadened the “rules” a bit. No alcohol. No smoking. Teddy bears were ever-so-slightly discouraged; it promoted the thought that it was okay to keep a bear in captivity. Not a good idea to bring any stuffed toy in fact, as most anthropomorphised an animal, and how unacceptable is that? And dolls! Goodness! Bring a doll by all means if you’re a boy, but there’s no need to shove little girls into stereotyped roles by having them bring a doll. No dogs! Sorry! Keep them at home please. If you want to run a stall to sell goods, you could get a licence (for a fee) at the Town Council Office. The name of the event was changed to Green Meadow Dairy and Margarine Annual Picnic, for it was munificently sponsored by a big corporation. And there was a wonderful motto for the year: Count the calories!

Noeline Rattray could see a view of the park from her lounge window. She was in a wheel chair now. Attending would be a bit much. She propped her teddy bears up on the window ledge so they could watch with her. She poured herself a little wine. And waited.

A few attended; mainly to sell things. Teddy Bears’ Picnic in the Park was a thing of the past.

162. Family picnic


It was summer. The family was to go to the river for a picnic. It was good for the family to occasionally do things together like that. They could swim in the river, and lie in the sun, and doze in the shade of a tree. They could eat from the picnic hamper, and sit on a rug.

There was Molly. She was sixteen. There was Jack. He was fourteen. And there were three younger ones: Josie, Cameron and Sally.

Jack didn’t want to go. “It sucks,” he said.

“But it’s a family picnic,” said his mother. “We’re all going.”

“I don’t want to go,” said Jack. “It sucks.”

“You’re going,” said his father. “We’re doing it as a family.”

Off they went. “It sucks,” said Jack.

“Take a more positive attitude,” said his mother.

“It sucks,” said Jack.

Jack hated the day. He moped and complained all day. He took part in nothing. He tried to ruin the day for everyone.

When they got home, everyone but Jack was tired from swimming and eating and sunshine.

“It sucked,” said Jack.

“That was fun,” said Molly.

But all knew the truth of the matter: a family’s mood is governed by the most selfish.