When I tentatively suggested a big family picnic at Brentor on Mothering Sunday my brother and sisters got very excited and the whole project snowballed. I spent a lot of time imagining all the things that could go wrong but I shouldn't have worried - my family are picnic pros.
Five cars filled with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents arrived at Brentor at the same time, a small miracle because one family drove up from Penzance and another family came down from Bristol. My father was given the task of scouting out the best place to sit and we all followed with armfuls of rugs, picnic hampers bursting with goodies and enough thermos flasks of coffee to set up a cafe.
We sat in the warm sunshine watching boy cousins climb on the rocks and girl cousins demonstrate their gymnastic prowess, sharing memories and enjoying each others company. Everyone had brought their favourite picnic food to share and so there was a feast of spinach quiche and salad, pasties, pork pies, baguettes and cheese, crunchy apples, flapjacks and party rings. At the end my mother cut her famous Dundee cake and for a happy moment it felt as though we had slipped back into our childhood.