We news reporters, we few, we happy few, descended on our local council estate to sit under a cat-infested tree.
It wasn't sunny. It wasn't hot. It wasn't Costa del Sol.
But it was Southwark, it was outside, it was lunchtime and there were cats.
Thus began our very own #LunchBreakHoliday, courtesy of the lovely folk at TravelSupermarket. To see the campaign itself, click here.
Actually the story began a few weeks before, when I was asked if we could participate in a competition to hold a special picnic lunch with our team, send in our photos and a blog and see if we could win anything.
With our employer being strict about us not receiving incentives, we were able to participate, but would not have been able to accept a prize. That fact did not stop us from trying. After all, how often does one get to have a picnic in their lunchbreak, in the middle of the City of London, surrounded by high-rise buildings?
TravelSupermarket sent us a goody box with cute metal lunchboxes, a picnic blanket, a frisbee and some inflatable beach balls. Secreted within the little tins were two £5 cards for Pret a Manger. Fabulous!
The plans were laid and the sandwiches were made (or visa versa). The previous evening, I decided to go all Martha Stewart and I made peanut butter cookies. Thirty of them. Thirty between four people, three of whom, including myself, were supposed to be on a diet.
And here they are:
|UtterPeanutNutterCookies. Pic: Simoney Sunday|
I packed a large beach bag with yellow napkins, cut sandwiches, cans of cola, paper plates and plastic champagne glasses (because that's how we roll), and off we went up the road.
The local estate is known as 'The Cat Place' because of the many varieties of semi-domestic cat it boasts.
Here are some of the feature creatures you can see in this picnic palace, which is actually quite pleasant, with its benches and statues and little gardens all awash with coloured geraniums and begonias.
|We call this one 'Sad Kitty' because he refuses our love and our tuna sandwiches|
And these three cuddle-craving critters:
|LtoR: Simba, Garfie and (foreground) Muffin|
|Mmmm cookies. I mean Salad.|
Although the sun was not shining, and it threatened rain, we still managed to brighten up our day with some delectable salads from Pret a Manger - including a fruit salad - and some merry japes. There may have also been some crisps - well that's a form of potato salad, I guess. Don't judge us.
|MMMMMM crisps. I mean, salad. Er...|
Here's the team deliberately not posing in any way, shape or form:
|Don't mind if I do!|
Well, we may not have been eligible for a prize, and we may not have had the most luxurious of surroundings, but for a tiny team to all be able to get out of the office for an hour, have some fun and games and relax a bit, I think we had a good time.
At the very least, we fulfilled the criteria: a picnic during a working day. It certainly beats our usual stick-to-a-rota-and-don't-take-too-long panic in the newsroom kind of a lunch.