A few weeks ago Goosepig decided she wanted to go on a picnic.
Somehow she had reached the point of being a grown woman without ever having been on a picnic.
A rather grand picnic set had been procured, strong views were held as to what a picnic should entail, but there was no actual picnic experience.
You can imagine how this was a source of some dread for your correspondent.
Things were not improved for me when she got together with my mother to decide the first picnic should be a whole of family outing.
It was decided there would be a picnic. It was then delegated to me to find a suitable spot to picnic at.
(I can feel the male readers in the audience crossing their legs defensively at this point.)
And then it came to me!
A facebook invitation to see The Cashews play at the Botanic Gardens on Saturday evening!
(To those who question the value of social media I say this one single piece of help balances out all the evils laid at its door.)
It was agreed that my suggestion was suitable.
Goosepig at this point, perhaps naively thinking picnics organise themselves, lost interest in logistics.
Fortunately planning is a strength of mine and, having worked it all out, the right dogs were left at the right houses and all the people were in my car with all the food and drink at 4.30pm in Lyneham heading towards the Botanic Gardens.
“But the concert does not start until 5.30pm and Lyneham is very close to the Botanic Gardens” I hear you cry.
This is a tip for those considering this sort of activity. An awful lot of people turn up to these concerts. Get there early.
When making a picnic of it getting there early has added benefits.
You can not only get a good spot, but you will not unduly annoy those sitting behind you while you sort out the food and drinks.
Sitting on the eucalypt lawn eating chicken drinking white wine spritzers on a summer evening is no hardship.
The crowd of those with less excellent planning skills filled in behind us until there was quite the throng in attendance, squishing down on the kangaroo poo which adorns the lawn (hurrah for picnic blankets!).
At 5.30 their was a long rambling introduction which the sound tech thankfully left at an inaudible level before The Cashews were introduced as “Chair/No Chair”, a mistaken reference to the sign directing the seating arrangements at the front of the stage.
Kids got up and danced, families enjoyed the free entertainment. Wine and beer was quietly knocked down, the queue for the ladies toilets became a maelstrom of small children and desperation.
During the interval there was a swing dancing demonstration which got a surprising number of people up out of the audience and dancing.
Come 7.30 it was all over and the audience was very politely asked to get the hell out with the Gardens closing at 8.
Here’s some video I shot which nicely sums up the vibe of the thing:
If you haven’t been but think this sounds like your thing there’s a page on the Botanic Garden’s website.
It’s a uniquely Canberra way to spend an evening.