Our August has been fairly low key so far. After the fun, excitement (and expense) of our French road-trip at the end of July, this month's summer holiday activities are necessarily shaping up to be of the frugal and homespun variety.
So, last Saturday when our friends invited us on a riverside picnic, we jumped at the chance to do something different and, armed with a basket of lunchtime goodies, trunks, hammam towels and the obligatory bottle of wine, we headed off to our destination less than ten minutes from home.
I'm ashamed, but also a little bit delighted (because it means secret locations can indeed be kept secret), that in nearly four years of living here, I never knew our picnic spot existed. I'd heard rumours of old ruins by the side of a river, but I hadn't expected the sheer beauty and perfection of the place we laid our blankets. Weeping willows dipped gracefully into the gentle river, grassy patches perfect for picnic-ing nestled amongst the picturesque ruins and there were safe wild swimming opportunities aplenty. It was like something from an EM Forster novel. There was even a hand-built dam for heavens sake...
Shedding their shorts and t-shirts the moment we arrived, the boys and their friends braved the river, whooping and splashing like mad things. We grown-ups whiled away the afternoon in the shade putting the world to rights over cabernet sauvignon and blue cheese. It was all rather wonderful. We'll definitely be going back.