Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for picnic

Not a lot of people know this, but I absolutely LOVE picnics. There is something so fun and relaxing about eating outdoors on a mat, that even if it's a pot luck picnic, the preparing and lugging of the food and drinks to whatever godforsaken venue you've chosen, doesn't matter.

Chinese New Year fell over a long weekend this year. And I found myself signed up for not one, not two, but THREE picnics. Three days. Three picnics. And all of them involved pot luck. I actually wondered at one point if I'd survive the hat trick picnics, or have any energy left for the third one. But all went wonderfully well and we had a lot of fun.

Picnic #1
Group: University friends
Venue: Swan Lake, Singapore Botanical Gardens

Fortunately, many of our uni gang are still in Singapore, so we keep having reunions. It is great to get together with folks you've known as teenagers, tending to kids of their own. The idea of this picnic started when a friend's preggu wife was craving aloo puri. So it was decided that the aloo puri shall be had outdoors, with 15 families, near the Swan Lake. Those who had helpers volunteered to bring the puris (imagine rolling and frying gazillions of puris by yourself!). I took aloo matar. There were several kinds of yummy aloo sabzis that day.

I'd not been to the Swan Lake area before. To my surprise, there were actual swans in Swan Lake!

The lake was also home to countless catfish, koi fish and turtles. And feeding them was allowed!

Xena, of course, went berserk with joy at the thought of feeding other living things. 

I literally had to hold her by the scruff of her neck, otherwise she'd have jumped in to swim beside them and feed them.  

She also enjoyed a game of football in the huge open spaces that the Botanical Garden is famous for.

While she chased the ball on the ground, her Poppy was practising high catches with his buddies.

We also spotted a huge monitor lizard. Yikes!

Picnic #2
Group: Neighbours
Venue: Siloso beach, Sentosa

Xena's playground connections have earned us a couple of friends in the neighbourhood. It's so great to find like-minded neighbours, isn't it? So we absolutely had to do a picnic with them too. Sentosa island had some lion dances and other performances, so we thought it would be nice to go there. And even though we knew it would be packed, we packed. It wasn't that bad though, and we found a clean and empty stretch to settle down. I'd taken quesadillas and egg rolls, and the others had got parathas and bhel puris (one of the guys mixed and dished out the yummy bhel puris on the spot! Yum.) And of course, there was alcohol. 

Xena really digs digging, so she kept herself busy. 

The sun started setting, and it was time for us to wrap up. 

Sentosa by night. Beautiful. 

On the way back, we caught a very grand lion dance. 

The drums were quite loud, but the kids enjoyed it nevertheless.

It was not called the LED lion dance for nothing!

Picnic #3
Group: Family
Venue: East coast beach

Now that the sister-in-law has finally been pulled over to the east, there is no reason for us not to get together at the beach regularly. It is literally a 10-minute walk away from our place. We have decided that no matter what, every month, we will have at least one family picnic at the beach. The first one was held on the third day of Chinese New Year. Upon Viv's request, I made 239842365 kg of tomato rice, while SIL made baingan sabzi. Her phone has a great camera so she took these awesome pictures. 

Digging tools are such a great babysitter! Look, Viv and I are actually sitting together, having a grown-up conversation!

Soon, she realised that the big party is happening on the mat, so she called us over. 

Digging with Poppy

Digging with Mama

It's not even been four months to the year and we've already had at least seven picnics. I'm looking forward to many more this year!


Arun said...

If only life was a picnic...

Sayesha said...

But it is! :P