It was always going to be a gamble to have a picnic in late March with Melbourne’s unpredictable weather. It’s not quite the same chatting in a restaurant as compared to feeling the grass, the warmth on your face and best of all, sampling home-cooked food.
We had a picnic date with the Gay Asian Proud (GAP) on lunar new year day as part of our tradition dating back to I-don’t-know-when. The sticky COVID-19 struck and we had our third restriction announced in Victoria. Planning for outdoor group events / activities had been tricky and when the situation finally stablished, we went for picnic take #2 in late March.
We were greeted by a sunny day, moderate temperature and some peaceful anti-climate change protestors at Carlton Gardens. J was early and we were so lucky to have her help us carry food/esky/drinks/table together with a co-organiser, R from GAP. One by one, more and more people came and we ended up with 32 happy vegemites and a pet dog. No one knew everyone, we just started chatting organically. One of the GAP members was celebrity Tim from Gogglebox: https://www.foxtel.com.au/whats-on/foxtel-insider/lifestyle/gogglebox-australia/tim-leanne-gogglebox.html. We played 2 truths and 1 lie as an introductory game for the group. It was amazing how much you get to know someone with this game – definitely a conversation starter and we quickly found commonalities within the group. We also get to see through people who aren’t used to lying (wink to M). It was great to have two kids in the group and they had fun guessing for the game and kicking soccer ball around. Personally, what was most heart-warming was seeing members vibe and connect with each other comfortably. In an increasingly digitally engaged world, the profound impacts of good old school meet ups become ever so important. As Sean Stephenson puts it nicely,
Connection is not an exchange of information. It’s an exchange of humanity. It’s an exchange of emotion.
And on that note, I’ll leave with you a couple of pictures of our recap. Happy Easter/holidays everyone!