Last weekend we had a picnic in the mysterious mists of a drizzly day at St Laurent le Minier.
This last weekend, due to popular demand, from my youngest, we went back, this time in the sun, and what a different scene greeted our eyes. The river banks were no longer empty but full of life. Children splashed in the shallows, women sauntered about in bikinis and young men dived off anything over a deepish pool.
Picnics were laid out, babies were being changed on picnic tables, and beach balls tossed from one side of the river to another.
Young men hovered on the edge of the dam, others hovered on the edge of the bridge, some even having the courage to jump into the river below. It is early summer and there has been rain, otherwise this would be a foolish thing to do!
The atmosphere was light and airy with holidaymakers and locals wiling away a warm afternoon by a cool river. They probably didn't notice the extraordinary rock formations they walked on; plates of rock pushed up then weathered and eroded to provide shelves for bums and picnic plates.
There was no sense of mystery; no dark corners, no damp hideouts reeking of lush, rotting vegetation. All was brightly lit, a bit smelly with the stagnant pools, and frankly juvenile despite the evidence of ancient rocks and a beautiful bridge. The sun bleached all the dark corners and exposed them to the glare of sunscreen and nappy wipes.
I enjoyed our picnic, as did the boys, especially with an ice-cream in hand. But... I think I preferred the one in the rain.