Now, I'm sure you know dear reader that we are Scottish. That also means (and I'm happy to be honest here) that we are also incredibly frugal (most of the time). So what do we do in the run up to Christmas when funds are tight but the children demand to be amused? We picnic.
It doesn't matter what time of year it is, we love a good picnic. In winter, we pack big flasks of steaming soup and huddle under a tartan blanket while enjoying the views at Chartwell or Nymans. But our favourite winter picnic location is Wakehurst Place. Visiting these glorious National Trust properties in winter means they're usually quieter. You can almost feel as if you have the whole place to yourself. Or that you actually live there.
Bigger would happily take up residence at Chartwell with me. We've visited so many times, he knows every hiding place, every nook, every corner. He'd spend his mornings in the Marycot, tucked away behind the kitchen garden, baking scones just like Churchill's daughter Mary did. We'd have to refurbish the swimming pool though, he tells me with authority. But the crane that fishes in the lake could stay. And the cows. And every spring we'd watch for frogspawn in the little pools that feed into the lake and swimming pool.
But back to winter pursuits. The pinetum at Wakehurst has the most spectacular trees and the smell of all those pine needles is winter personified for me. We watch the ducks, learn about the trees and work up a good appetite for that soup.
With lungs full of fresh air and cheeks pink from the chill of winter, it's our favourite way to spend a Sunday morning. Particularly if the sun is shining, no matter how weakly.
This post is my entry to the Festive Family Photo competition that the lovely @thinlyspread is running over on her blog. Do pop over and enter your own or enjoy seeing what everyone else is up to.