Spring Picnics and Family: The Perfect Combination






There is something quite appealing about the first sunny days after a long, dark winter. As I look out of the window now it could all have been an illusion but, for a few days at least, we could have been forgiven for thinking that spring was well under way and the warmth of the summer sun would soon be with us.

May 1st marked this year’s Greek Easter. I was baptised as Greek Orthodox as was my father and aunts and when I was young we would all set off to London to attend the Easter service at the Ayia Sofia church in Moscow Road. I love looking back on the memories of my childhood when all the family were together. They were happy days and I remember them fondly with a mixture of emotions ranging from great sadness that those days have long gone but happiness that they happened at all.

This year we met up with some of our family where around 30 of us enjoyed a picnic and the children had fun playing games together. The highlight was the Easter Egg hunt.




Thankfully, the weather held for us and whilst it wasn’t especially warm, it didn’t rain either. It was a lovely end to what had been another busy and somewhat stressful week for me, having spent much of it with my father. It also provided me with a much-needed boost in preparation for the long week ahead.




After a few days away again, I returned home again keen to make the most of the time I had before setting off again later this week. With Archaeology Club for several of the children and various errands to run, Saturday went by in the blink of an eye. Sunday morning was glorious and so we decided on throwing together some drinks and snacks and setting off for a picnic.




There is nothing quite like feeling the warm sunshine on your face and taking in the beauty of nature as you go. I couldn’t help but think of my brother who is anxiously waiting his discharge from hospital after a six month battle with leukaemia, and how we were used to taking for granted even the most simple of pleasures like being able to leave the house.




As well as walking there was running, jumping…




…and general tree-climbing to do.




We decided to stop by the Mausoleum for our picnic.





And also for a spot of recovery from the morning’s activity. Some decided to enjoy the sunshine…




…while others settled for a good book.




Once lunch was eaten it was time to play a game of Smite.

Smite is a tactical garden game that we had never heard of before. Despite this, it appears that we might have been the exception to the rule as apparently the Smite National Championships take place annually in Cornwall each year!

You would be forgiven for thinking it looks like a cross between bowls and skittles. The rules are pretty simple. Stand the ten wooden pins in a triangle formation like you would with skittles – except with the longer length facing you.


Set up the pins


Take the smiter (the longer piece of wood) and throw it at the pins from four metres away.


Bel takes her first shot
Bel takes her first shot


Unfortunately, for those with little arms and shorter throws it soon proved quite a challenge to get anywhere near to the pins.


Under arm throws should be taken
Under arm throws should be taken


So after a few attempts Isobel decided to come up with the solution…


Nowhere near... oh dear...
Nowhere near… oh dear…


…to throw the smite from a closer range…


So Isobel decided to move closer...
So Isobel decided to move closer…


…and then closer still.


...and closer...
…and closer…


Until finally…




…she hit the pins! If you knock a single pin down you score the number on that pin. Knock down two or more and you don’t add the numbers on them but just add the quantity of pins you have knocked down.


...she got it!
…she got it!


The pins are then stood back up in the place they had fallen. They do not need to be placed back in the triangular arrangement.


Sticking your tongue out as you throw helps you to aim better according to Libby


With so many of us in the family we thought this was a brilliant game for large groups to be able to join in with. The only thing we would have preferred to have been included would have been a notepad and pencil with which to be able to keep track of scores.


Hitting the pins is always a cause for celebration
Hitting the pins is always a cause for celebration


Everyone enjoyed a celebration when they hit the pins…


Go, Sid!
Go, Sid!


Sometimes they celebrated alone…


They celebrated alone
They celebrated alone


…and sometimes…


And they celebrated…


…they celebrated with others…


…with others…


…sort of.


(sort of)


Then, of course, there was the mad rush to get to the pins before…




…Tim did.


...aah! Too late!
…aah! Too late!


And the winner of this game was Joseph!


And Joseph is the winner!
And Joseph is the winner!


We were sent a game of Smite to review but you can buy it on Amazon now. We thought it was a pretty fantastic garden game and excellent fun!

After our exciting (and somewhat competitive game) it was time to head off again. We enjoyed watching the free-roaming cattle as they appeared…


Can you spot the free ranging cattle?
Can you spot the free ranging cattle?


…and the smatterings of bluebells that graced the woods were ‘quite delightful’ according to Ollie.


Ollie loved the ‘delightful’ bluebells
Ollie loved the ‘delightful’ bluebells


A little more walking…


Just a little further
Just a little further


…and a little more resting…


Another little rest
Another little rest


And it was finally time for home…


Time to go home
Time to go home



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