Picnic season is here. It doesn't matter if you are in the "sit on a nettle, eating a wasp" camp or constantly babble "everything tastes better outdoors".
Like it or not, at some point between now and the end of September you will be balancing a sandwich on your knee.
I myself, am a big fan. I am so prone to picnics that I have several times dragged my children to our neighbourhood park in dead of winter, clutching a thermos of hot chocolate and some biscuits, the better to enjoy the too-early sunsets.
Scotland has that very British craziness of combining the perfect scenery with the worst possible weather. And yet we soldier on.
I won't post recipes, because really, all you need for a picnic is some sunshine, a bit of grass or sand, a blanket, cheese, bread, fruit and water. And if you can make sure the beer is cold, bless you. And nobody ever said no to chocolate.
And don't forget to pack a bottle opener, and a fresbee, or a ball, or a kite, or something that will lull you into a pleasant sense of having been active and outdoorsy as you drift off into a well deserved nap.
I was used to hot weather picnics, which mean coolers full of ice where you nestle the cherries and the chocolate. Where a blanket has to protect your bare legs from thorns and spiky dry grass. And where shade is of the essence.
Now I grapple with such issues as wind breakers, waterproof blankets and wellington boots. But I am free from the ghost of melted chocolate, and if I want a cold drink I only have to plunge a bottle into the icy sea for a couple of minutes.
I do have a bit of a problem with the props. I take a stand against tupperware, paper plates and napkins and plastic glasses. And I hate to see packaging marr the view.
So it's wicker baskets and inconvenient picnic tins for me. And tiffin boxes, striped tea towels, Swiss army knives and enamel plates and cups. It's annoying, but picnics aren't about convenience. They're about nostalgia and pretending to be a character in English literature. Up to you wether you want to be Sebastian with the teddy bear and the strawberries, or Ratty and Mole with the potted-ham-potted-tongue.