You know sometimes you have one of those days, or an outing of some kind, and at the end you sort of sigh to yourself, and think ‘well that was lovely’?
Nothing hugely adventurous happened, you didn’t spend loads of money, but you did something that was just nice, that left you feeling all warm and content with life.
That happened to us a few weeks ago.
Belle and I went to Stourhead, a National Trust place about an hour away from us, and met up with a friend and her nine month old twin girls. (#Rinstwins if you want to check them out on Instagram – how awesome to be called Rin and have twins?! They are made for social media.)
The sky was a bright blue, the forecast promised sunshine all day long, and we had nothing to do and nowhere to be. (Apart from sat down at regular intervals for the twins to snack, which suited me just fine.) We hadn’t got quite as far as packing a picnic, because I love the treat of eating out in a cafe, but I had packed us a little rucksack of essentials – water bottles, mini-cheddars, suntan lotion, and Kleenex pocket packs. It’s weird, but although I was always the parent who forgot wipes, I’ve turned into the woman who always has tissues. There is something very comforting and satisfying about carrying tissues, and that feeling of needing one, and then actually having one – it’s ace.
We talked about nothing in particular as we strolled around in the sunshine – garden colour schemes, how to get children to eat vegetables, (the twins eat a much more varied diet already than Belle), and how often we like to wash our hair – and it was just lovely. We stopped in the pub for a lunch of warm goat’s cheese and crusty bread, followed by jaffa cake ice creams, and everything was right with the world. (Just because it’s now officially autumn, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an ice cream you know.)
I know you’re not meant to say babies are ‘good’, as all babies are ace obviously, but honestly, Rin’s twins are just amazing. They’re only little, but somehow you feel like they’re really good company. Belle normally moans and groans her way around a National Trust garden, totally ignoring all of my fascinating hydrangea facts, but with Summer and Harmony to play with, she was an absolute delight. She pushed the double pushchair up hills, carried them around the house, cuddled them and generally made me a very proud mummy.
We were the picture of smugness – me with my helpful teen and Rin with her chilled out double babies. Plus we had both bought picnic blankets. We own parenting.
I got to have a double moment of smugness too, when I realised I had been the mummy to remember drinks, snacks and, of course, the essential tissues. (In fairness, Rin does have to remember an awful lot of things for the babies, so it’s no wonder she forgets snacks for herself.)
Because really, that’s all you need for the perfect picnic isn’t it?
Forget the bespoke wicker picnic basket, melamine crockery, chilled wine and parasols. All you really need is a blanket, a beautiful autumn day, a tasty smackerel of something and, most importantly, the company of people you love.
(And then the Kleenex of course, for mopping up the tears, brought on by me being so soppy.)
In association with Kleenex.