On Anzac Day we had our annual (as of last year) extended-family Picnic at Hanging Rock. Hanging Rock is about an hour's drive north-west of Melbourne and was the scene of a well-loved Australian novel and movie, set in the early 1900s which told the story of some schoolgirls going missing while climbing the rock. It is in fact a perfect setting for a story of disappearing people; both years now when we've climbed it I've ended up having a mini panic attack because I couldn't find one or other of my children. It is SO EASY to get lost up there. And of course I felt like such a fool zigzagging around the many, many nooks and crannies, my chest tight with anxiety while desperately trying to glimpse a child, but it is a big rock, it is full of deep crevices and my kids were exploring and climbing like a pair of mountain goats. Having said that, they were absolutely fine and no-one but me thought anyone was lost. Actually I think maybe *I* was lost. I wandered round the peak for 20 minutes without once catching sight of my family and they were all there, having a great time. It is a magnificent climb though, and thoroughly atmospheric even with all the other people clambering around. The boys were the perfect age this year to get the full benefit and couldn't stop talking all the way home about what awesome fun it had been. Cherub and my sister's boy were about the same level of competence in terms of climbing skills, and had a fine old time getting into caves and tunnels and imagining Lord of the Rings scenarios. Climber, true to his name, was up every challenging peak he could find. It was difficult for me to look at him half the time. Be careful sweetie!
The other fun part was hanging out with my family. My cousins have now got babies of their own, and it was great seeing my boys engage with and entertain the smaller fry.
My sister, who has now relocated to Victoria after years in Canberra, was also very excited to be a part of a gathering like this, and took some gorgeous photos.
The food was also excellent. There's a lot of good cooks in the family. I made a freekeh salad, some Anzac biscuits, some hummus and a baby beetroot, walnut, caramelized onion and goat's cheese pie. I know. Getting fancy in my old age.
Cherub just ate a jam sandwich. Typical.
For ANZAC Day this is so beautiful and tender
8 hours ago