Our first picnic at the house

We haven’t moved into our house at Merricks yet because the builders are still doing a bit of work on it, but we decided to have a picnic on the lawn with our friends Alister and Susanna Currie as well as Saab Dash and little Maya who were visiting from Singapore.

It was a lovely, slightly cloudy day, which was perfect as it didn’t get too hot. I spent hours researching on the internet the best ways to dissuade pesky flies from gatecrashing our party. According to my research, the commonly accepted approaches are:

1) A insect repellent-laced picnic blanket – a no-go as I had visions of Mark foaming at the mouth from absent mindedly eating a piece of dropped salmon off the blanket. I still haven’t gotten around to researching nearest hospitals yet!

2) Bags of water hung up from strings – apparently flies are scared by reflections of themselves in water?! Sounded too silly to attempt.

3) A large rotting carcass situated upwind from the picnic to draw flies away – we thought this might dampen the festive spirit somewhat…

4) Clove-studded oranges on the corners of the picnic blanket – this seemed relatively inoffensive so I punk-studded several ripe oranges with cloves and liberally scattered the rest of the bottle of clove on the picnic blanket.
Verdict – It was like trying to prevent children from opening Christmas presents by putting broccoli around the Christmas tree. A totally ineffective distraction!


5) Waving cardigans and paper plates like you’re having a fit with one hand while eating with the other – that old trick. If anyone has a better idea, please write in and let me know! Winner gets an invite to the next Leahy picnic…

All of us on the picnic blankie

The view of Western Port Bay

Really spicy Thai Beef Salad with Mint and Shallots

We set up the buffet indoors – a cunning strategy

Finn venturing near the dam

Maya looking for ladybirds

Mark brings the visitors for a tour of ‘the grounds’

we find a treehouse we didn’t know about hidden next to the dam

Exploring the bush trail around the perimeter of the property

Thank goodness for Botanical expert Susanna Currie who manages to identify most of the plants on the walk … My knowledge of plants consists of the categories “Pretty”, “Gross” and “Yummy”…

Susanna finds a wild plum tree

Apparently these foxgloves are poisonous – who knew!

These are some sort of lilies

Poppies! My mother asked if Mark intended to set up an organic narcotics operation to diversify our revenue streams…

Mark takes the children on that much anticipated tractor ride

Note Saab holding on tight… to his beer! Priorities….

It was a really bumpy ride as Farmer Mark hadn’t oiled the gear shift…

“Grading the drive” – it gets an “A” from me!

Maya on the swings

Finn tests out a sour little apple from the orchard despite our warnings

little Maya is gorgeous!


Mark finds a 6 foot tall allium thingy in the vegetable patch

But the highlight of the picnic was when the lovely Susanna found a treasure trove of POTATOES at the back of the vegetable patch! See Mark’s radiant expression of delight…. Alister found an entire wall of passionfruit growing at the back of the patch as well but Mark was only interested in the taters…. He has pronounced us self-sufficient now upon this significant discovery.

Grandma drops in at the end of the picnic with mei-mei Dylan

How could you guys leave me at home?!

Dylan gets extra hugs from Susanna

We move in after the 1st week of Jan, fingers crossed that all our furniture turns up intact, all 560 crates of it! Will keep you posted!



2 thoughts on “Our first picnic at the house

  1. Potatoes!!!!!! I share Mark’s confidence you are now self-sufficient. That looks like a lovely vegetable garden you inherited there.

    Why do you have a dam on the property? Is it some sort of cistern you can use to gather free water for all your plants?

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