I’m writing this in the car en route to my mother’s house.* This journey takes four hours and up, so over the years we have adopted some survival traditions.
The portable DVD player for my daughter’s entertainment, has now been replaced by the iPad, which I’m being allowed a rare go on to write this. I normally read the paper, or listen to the radio.
We have an excellent book of games for journeys and when tedium really takes hold, take turns to DJ on my phone, plugged into the car low fi.
But of course one of the most fundamental long journey traditions is the in-flight picnic. This has always meant a stop at the artisan bakery/deli in our town, where we would drop at least £20 on sandwiches, buns, drinks etc.
You know what’s coming don’t you?
In about five minutes I threw together a picnic of great splendour from the fridge and pantry. This comprised:
The last of the flipping pitas (for husband, who has been away and doesn’t have pita fatigue…)
Lump of cheddar
Half a Chorizo
A packet of mini Easter eggs
And – truly – lashings of ginger beer (3 tins from the fridge)
I also threw in a tiny chopping board (from a toy baking set my daughter had when she was little) and a paring knife, which made me feel like the families I remember from trains when I was Eurorailing in the early 80s.
They would get on with a couple of live chickens in a cage and divvy up their rations, with an ancient bone-handled knife, sharing with everyone in the carriage – right down to a squirt of rough red wine from the goatskin in Spain.
Our version was a perfect car picnic – and who knew how delicious flapjacks are with cheddar?
*This was written over a fortnight ago – this is the first chance I’ve had to post it, as I’ve been crazy busy downsizing my mum from a four-bedroom house, to a one-bedroom flat. I intend to get back to emptying my pantry now I’m home again.