X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Culture House Daily

Picnics are ridiculous. Don’t expect me or my dog to have any respect for them

16 June 2014

1:31 PM

16 June 2014

1:31 PM

In the past few weeks my poor dog Maisie has been screamed at, threatened, vilified and monstered, just as she is every summer. Why? Because as soon as the weather promises to be nice a significant number of idiots dust down their Tupperware and schlep a picnic to a public park.

Why is it, then, that dogs who make a dash for the chicken drumsticks laid out within sniffing distance and on their own turf are accused of theft and bad behaviour? In what way can we possibly blame scavenging animals from taking food from the ground? And this is in a world where women who go out late at night/take a taxi when drunk/wear a short skirt/indulge in flirtatious behaviour are told that if they are raped they have brought it on themselves!

On Monday mornings I am scared to let my poor pooch off her lead because the park is usually littered with half eaten rubbish left by lazy bastards who can’t be bothered to preserve the public space for others to use. Why would anyone want to eat outside, without a table and chairs and proper cutlery, when they could eat at home? The only type of outdoor eating I like is under a parasol, at a proper table that doesn’t wobble, with a tablecloth, and within sight of either a waiter or my own fridge.

[Alt-Text]


Competitive, or extreme, picnicking wind me up. We all know someone who will bake a quiche from scratch using only free-range, organic ingredients only to find, when releasing it from its wrapper, it has broken into a hundred pieces and gone as soggy as an Ed Milliband speech. Picnic fiends prepare food they would normally find repellent, such as pasta bows mixed with green peppers and tinned sweetcorn, home-made hummus with the consistency of Polyfilla, and cocktail sausages that resemble a shrivelled, severed penis by the time they are unpacked. Fruit is bruised, and cake is mush, not to mention the fact that someone has forgotten the salt, so the little cherry tomatoes that are barely holding together taste of fuck all.

By the time the picnic is finished your arse feels like it’s been kicked by a frightened horse, because no matter how nice a spot you pick, and how thick your blanket is, the ground is full of bumps and hard stubble. Bending over to slice yourself a supermarket baguette can put your back out and bruise both knees. Such joy.

Men and children love picnics, but the women usually hate it because, let’s face it, making a picnic is seen as women’s work. After the crap food has been scoffed down, along with a few insects and a fair bit of soil, the containers have to be all packed up again, transported back to the car, and taken home to be washed.

For my birthday one year I was taken to Kenwood on Hampstead Heath to hear an outdoor opera. I love Tosca, but by the end of the evening I could quite happily have perched myself on a high wall and hurled myself over the edge to my death, shouting, ‘Perché non potevamo abbiamo ascoltato Tosca a casa e cena mangiato in comodità?’

It rained. I was desperate to go to the loo, having drunk a bucketful of warm white wine (someone forgot the ice). And I could hardly hear the opera over the sound of tossers playing frisbee. If you must indulge in this ridiculous activity, don’t expect my dog to have any more respect for your soggy sardines than I do.

Follow Julie Bindel on Twitter @bindelj

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close