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Summer Picnics

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One of the many joys of summer is sharing a picnic with friends or family. There are so many great places to have picnics in London, the south bank or one of the many beautiful parks. In this article, the writer shares some of her favourite memories of summer picnics with her family. I've removed some vocabulary and as it is quite difficult, given you the meanings of the words to help you.

Key Words

Practicality – something that has a useful purpose.
Memories – things you remember from the past
Fond – having affection for.
Flowery – decorated with lots of flowers.
Tastier – the comparative form of 'tasty', delicious.
Pleasure – (noun) something you really enjoy.
Shenanigans – mischievous events.

Picnic Reading

I have _1_ memories of Dad taking my brother and me to Brittany when we were children. We'd spend hours putting up our tent with the usual _2_ of lost tent pegs and inside-out canvases, but the reward was always a trip to the local Monoprix supermarket, where we'd buy cold meats, sweet cherry tomatoes, peppercorn pâtés and crisp French baguettes. Everything would be eaten out in the fresh air, back at the campsite. Those meals could not have been any _3_.

These days, I love having picnics at home in London. What better way to spend one of those lazy, hot days in July than in Battersea Park with a couple of friends, some beautiful food and a very cold bottle of cava. I try to make everything from scratch, though I'm not averse to crisps and cold cocktail sausages, which don't exactly require much in the way of cooking – more like opening packets – but are delicious all the same. I used to like the romantic image of a _4_ china set and wicker picnic basket, but that has since given way to the _5_ of a cooler box I found in a hardware store.

My other great summer _6_ is the garden barbecue. I enjoy the anticipation – choosing the meat, mixing up a marinade, taking in that wonderful char-grill smell when the meat hits the heat. My dad has one of those barbecues that's like a gigantic oven – you just turn it on and go – but I think half the fun is fiddling around with lighter fuel and twisted bits of newspaper. Perhaps it's the _7_ of those DIY camping days, and of how much better the food tasted when you had to put a bit of effort into it.

Lesson by Caroline Devane

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