A Dam Picnic

I love the scene in the movie Emma where the footmen bring out the tables and linen for the picnic to Box Hill. In movies and books picnic fare is always exotic and fresh. In real life - at least in our real life - it's anything but.

Our picnic consisted of bread (not fresh but at least a day old), freshly made griddle scones (which the recipe said to cook on a hot girdle and until two seconds ago when I turned to my dictionary and discovered that girdle is the Scottish equivalent of griddle I was wondering how to get a girdle hot enough that it cooked anything other than its wearer), oaty chocolate chip biscuits that Son#3 had made the previous evening, jam (for the scones which were even better than ones made in the oven with their crisp outside and soft fluffy centre), Vegemite, tomato, cheese, fruit cake (for DH and which he didn't eat), crackers, homemade hummus (which nobody touched), fruit, prunes, almonds (of the latter three I was the only person who had a piece of fruit), juice, a bottle of homemade ginger beer (the boys get excited about making it every summer but by the time they go back to Uni, the novelty has worn off), and of course, tea and coffee and milk.

There were rain warnings for parts of the country but when we set out it looked as if it was going to be another glorious day. We did encounter some rain on our picnic but just a few spots and certainly not enough to dampen our spirits. Besides, I love walking in the rain.

Our destination was a series of small dams in nearby ranges that DH thought might make a good place to go hunting. He suggested I come along and we have a picnic and go for a walk. It sounded like fun. What he didn't tell me was that half of the trip would be on unsealed winding roads. In Australia I only suffered with car sickness when I was a child or with child. Here, I just suffer to varying degrees most of the time that I get in the car.

Thankfully the first dam was at the point where I felt that I couldn't take another minute in the car. The high bridge over the dam made me feel dizzy but at least we were out in the fresh air. The remaining distance then went by in a blur until finally we arrived at our destination. There was a significant lack of picnic facilities (despite being led to believe otherwise) but there was a flushing toilet (luxury!) even if nowhere to wash afterwards. Still, after almost twenty-eight years of marriage to one who loves the bush, I've learnt to be prepared. It was more than I was expecting and Wet Wipes are always in the car.

I don't think anyone minded sitting on the edge of the walkway across the dam and it certainly afforded a decent view. Later, we went for a walk in the bush. DH and sons were excited to spot prints, and even though they kept throwing around such comments as "It's the wrong time of day to see deer", "They could smell us a mile off with the direction of this wind", etc, etc, I have a sneaking suspicion that they were hoping to see a deer step out of the bush while we were there. I couldn't have cared less except that all that remains in our freezer at present is a frozen chicken and one packet of minced beef.

Parts of the track made me feel as if I was on the set for Lord of the Rings or Prince Caspian. I guess there's a reason this country was chosen for such films. What do you think?

We journeyed home in the rain - well at least I think we did. By this time I was too miserable to care and slept most of the way. It was pouring when we got home and a hot bath felt luxurious. DH and sons had plans to go hunting today ... but it would seem the weather deems otherwise. Still, I don't mind a rainy day at home and there's still some of those biscuits and scones to finish up. Anyone want to come around for a cuppa?


Ohtawen said…
Wow. Just wow. I almost can't believe how beautiful the landscape is. So unbearably beautiful. It's logical that New Zealand was chosen for the setting of LOTR and Hobbit. Heh, it won't come as a surprise that a certain Tolkien buff (;)) has a secret wish to go to New Zealand and visit Hobbiton (and Rivendell, if they leave the movie set of Hobbit). But since New Zealand is so breathtaking, I would have to make an extended stay just to see everything.
Jen said…
What beautiful pictures! It really does remind me of Lord of The Rings (especially one particular part where the character Arwen is trying to get Frodo to safety). It sounds like you had a wonderful picnic with yummy food :).
Jules said…
Ohtawen, if you ever come down this way, you're invited to stay with us. We might even be able to show you some of the scenery used when filming LOTR. At the moment I have a desire to see some of the scenes from Prince Caspian and in particular one beach. Perhaps one day.

Jen, I'm afraid I'm not a LOTR fan (fell asleep during the first movie, have seen part of the second, and still haven't managed to read the book) so know who Frodo is but Arwen I'd probable have to look up. However I've lived with a houseful of fans and so have learnt to appreciate some of the finer aspects of the films - especially the scenery. You're invited too if you ever make it down this way. :)
Jen said…
Jules, I have to say that I'm a massive LOTR fan :). LOVE the movies. The scenery in them takes my breath away. When we saw the mountain scenes in the theater, I was blown away that there is a place on earth that beautiful. The movies are worth watching just for the hair alone. Both Arwen (the main female character) and Eowyn (another main female character) have such beautiful hair, along with many of the extra's. Yes, the hair is extensions, but still is beautiful nonetheless. There are some cool updos too.
Jules said…
Yes I admired the hair. Now I think I know who you're talking about - just from the hair alone. :)

Some of the mountain scenes were shot not too far from where we live. In reality, most New Zealanders could say that given it's such a small country and the shots were from all over but the background on my blog is from an area where some of the scenes were shot. I'll have to dig out the photo I took of a sign that said "Hobbit Country".
Ohtawen said…
Oh, Jules, I'm honored! I really hope that some day, I will visit New Zealand, and of course, meet you and your fabulous family :) But I guess I'll have to finish school first...

Concerning LOTR - the books are wonderful, if I may say. If you find the time, I hope you will read them. I've enjoyed them all immensely, and I can highly recommend them, not only because of the ingenious world-building, great plot and writing style, but because of the message. I have a feeling that you would like the novels :)
Oh, and LOTR is one of the rare examples where the movies come close to the books. I'm usually disappointed by film adaptations of popular novels, but the movies are really good. Okay, I really need to end this LOTR promotion :P
SchnauzerMom said…
Another big LOTR fan here. Love the books and the movies. I think I saw some elves in the background of one of your photos. Big Narnia fan too.

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