Love Volcanic Ash, Hate Picnics

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Volcanic ash from Iceland has been grounding planes and dimming sunlight in Western Europe for days now. The Telegraph's Bryony Gordon is fine with that. Why? Because it will "[put] the picnic season on hold." Her beef: "I love spring as much as the next relatively sane person, but I cannot abide the rigmarole of the picnic."

They may sound great "in theory," she says, but even if you manage to find your friends in the park--an impressive first challenge--"you will discover that you have all brought with you the same items of food: strawberries, and Scotch eggs." That's another problem, says Gordon:

You never eat Scotch eggs anywhere but at a picnic; it's just not socially acceptable. So you all try to squeeze on the rug that for the previous 10 months has belonged to your friend's chocolate labrador, and you eat Scotch eggs until you begin to look a bit like Bernard Manning.

The ordeal doesn't end there. Eventually, continues Gordon, you discover the picnic party a ways away, that has managed to bring much nicer food and actually has things to sit on. It is at about this time that "you realise that your cheap bottle of rosé does not have a screw-top and that nobody has a corkscrew." That's before the newspaper blows into the lake.

Gordon's conclusion: "If it puts the picnic season on hold then I am all for this sulphuric gift from Iceland."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.