Picnic at Kirstenbosch
Picnic time at Kirstenbosch
We found our shady spot beneath a spreading oak tree, tossed the acorns away and laid the rugs. Setting out the picnic was as much a source of interest to a passing helmeted guinea fowl as it was to me. The colour and variety of food Christina had assembled made me feel quite spoiled and I enjoyed every minute. What was nice about the choice of nibbles and prepared dishes was that they extended the picnic; so we could sit together and chat for a long time, dipping into raw vegetables and cheese and chive dip and later savouring cheesecake and ice cream from shiny teaspoons.
The management bans any form of alcohol and have been known to check the contents of drinks containers; I was quite glad because I wanted my senses to remain sharp so I could fully appreciate the day.
A large group of young adults came and sat on the other side of the ancient gardenia bush near us. One of them was having a birthday and a lot of noise was essential for their enjoyment. “Don’t worry,” I said, “as soon as they start eating they’ll quieten down.” Well then they went quiet and suddenly a champagne cork popped. Our heads spun in their direction; did they know the rules? I think they did because by the time the garden detective arrived on his routine patrol to remind us to don our masks once we got up, while studying the lay of our picnic for any suspicious bottles, they had downed the drink and hidden the bottle.
Fortunately, they left after about an hour and peace returned with the arrival of a pair of Egyptian Geese with their brood of four very young goslings. Curiosity struck one of our party to see if they would eat grapes and we watched with amused awe as a grape passed down the parent’s neck disturbing its feathers as it went. Better for it than bread I thought. I wondered if it would pass out the other end intact, couldn’t be any worse than laying an egg!
All good things must come to an end; the shadows were stretching away over the grass and that refreshing chill that ensured a good night’s sleep had arrived so we packed up the remnants of our feast and adjourned to the warm interior of Zoonie’s saloon for a mug of tea (!) TEA, I thought, “Christina, would you like tea or wine?” I realised it was a silly question as soon as I’d said it and that happy, familiar sound of wine bottle pouring liquid into clinking glasses returned and Rob gave an excellent demonstration of how to dress an open, home-baked scone in preparation for a classic English Cream Tea.