10 Cosmics and friends assembled for Gillian’s picnic on Saturday – it just wasn’t quite the sort of picnic initially envisaged.  Forecast was for showers, which one thought meant some periods without rain – unfortunately these (non-rain) periods seemed to be vanishingly short.  Undeterred,  7 of us donned waterproof tops and set off from Forest of Birse car park.  A quick ascent of Carnferg (which has a very impressive cairn on the top as well as a trig point) meant we could at least claim a 101 for the day (except Bob who did it last year on ski), then Anne and Pauline headed for Glen Cat, aiming to get back fro 12.30 to meet Margaret at the cars.  Gillian, Anita, Colin , Mike and Bob headed for the Guard, then Baudy Meg and Hill of Duchery (it would of course have been quicker although longer if we’d stuck to the track – but the boys were certain ….).   Still we did 20.5 K with 643m ascent in 3.04 (2.37 moving time).  Back at the cars the rain seemed set in.  Bob said – you know you could have the picnic at my place instead – there’s a log fire…….  The rain got heavier …. and heavier.  All jumped in the cars and set off, collecting a couple of very wet cyclists – John and Imogen – en route.   The log fire was wonderful!  We could all get changed in the dry and warm, and have a very civilised picnic at Bob’s big table (though Gillian did insist I brought the plaid rug in), no brollies or insect repellant required.  Pauline was awarded the prize for the most inventive salad – pea, mint and pasta – which was a shocking pink salad bowl and tools, Anita got the bow and arrow set for baking (Cappuccino cup cakes), Bob the fancy dress prize (collapsible cups) – the costume involved a boater, Imogen the endurance award for heroic cycling (a garden gnome), and Mike the picnic basket award – he had a magnificent hamper fitted out with special places for glass glasses and real china etc.  And there were no silly thoughts about ANYONE cycling back!
Thank you very much to Bob for the hospitality of his home and to Gillian for organising yet another great day out.