Picnic anyone?

My, but it's cold out there today!
It's Palm Sunday this weekend here in the UK and I was just looking at some pictures from last year when my church congregation was gathered round the village pond with a horse (we couldn't borrow a donkey) ready to process into church -in the sunshine. The Junior Choir were actually squinting at the camera the sun was so bright.
I sense this weekend we will be huddled together in snow gear hoping the Priest will keep it short and sweet so we can get into the relative warmth of church.
So no Palm Sunday picnics this year.
Shame 'cause I love the idea of picnics. I have a wonderful wicker picnic basket which feeds my fantasy image of myself as 1950's style mom in my sprigged frock (what is sprigged anyway?) and floral pinny distributing dainty Ritz style sandwiches and perfect cupcakes and maybe even some homemade lemonade or ginger beer whilst my children, dressed of course in either gingham or grey flannel depending on gender, would frolic happily round my tartan picnic rug. There would be no wasps.
The reality of course is always very different. For a start I could not possibly ram enough food for my permanently starving family into one small wicker basket. There's normally also an Ikea bag or two, a cool box and a cool bag, a rucksack and a few Tesco carrier bags to be lugged to the picnic site.
I'm not very good at getting down onto the floor or back up again so I always take chairs. One rug is not big enough for 9 so we take a few so the woods/field/park always looks like I've carpeted it. And I live in the UK so we often take a gazebo as well for the inevitable rain shower.
Drinks are an issue. I'd like to say DH and I sip Prosecco whilst the children enjoy their home-made lemonade. But of course it's usually a bottle of blackcurrant topped up with water and plain water for the fussy kid, or boxes of fruit juice if I'm prepared or feeling less broke than normal. Then you have to pack cups. which tip over onto the rug as soon as a child moves.
So imagine my delight when I was sent a new product to try from Ohyo. The collapsabottle does what it says! Its a concertina style bottle with a wide screw top and built in straw. The idea is you can fit in it a pocket, under your hat, in a bag, collapsed and therefore tiny. Fill it up at any water source ( or from your topped up blackcurrant bottle). Then when it's time to go - make sure bottle is empty, collapse it down and off you go!
Ideal for me with my huge brood. Even 7 collapsabottles take up less space than a load of cups. And are more environmentally friendly than paper/plastic disposable cups.
And they are not just for picnics! My primary school children have taken them to school and are allowed to top them up from the classroom tap so they always have a drink on hand.
My germ -conscious secondary age daughter has one in her bag to bypass the "mouth on water fountain" nightmare. She pops it open, fills it, drinks it and then collapses it down and pops it into her already over-stuffed messenger bag.
And it comes in very handy for grumpy toddler who can never finish his carton of juice at cafes - I take the collapsed bottle out of my handbag, pop it open - tip the remaining drink into the collapsabottle. He drinks it as I carry on shopping then the bottle collapses back into my bag. Saves loads of space and dripping cartons!
The bottle also provides hours of entertainment for my children who love collapsing and opening them - they are easily pleased though!
I think the bottles will be staying at home this weekend however as I look out of the window at the darkening clouds and listen to the howling winds.
Anyone know where I can lay my hands on a St Bernard dog complete with brandy cask round it's neck?

English: St. Bernard Dog.
English: St. Bernard Dog.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DISCLAIMER; madmumof7 was provided with 7 collapsabottles from www.ohyo.me for the purposes of this review. Opinons are the reviewers own.
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