16/08/2013 09:23 BST | Updated 15/10/2013 06:12 BST

The Summer Holidays in a Nutshell


And the living is ...twice as bloody hard as the rest of the year actually Mr Gershwin,

Oh, Daddy ain't rich and Mamma is not lookin' very good at all,

So hush little baby,

Don't you cry. Please stop whinging for one minute. No you're not having another ice cream. Put that down!

School holidays are a time for eating al fresco because picnics are easy.

Sandwich, banana, park, done.

But type the word picnic into Pinterest and you will be assaulted by picture perfect picnics complete with drinks served in jam jars, wicker baskets and sandwiches wrapped in string.

Who is creating this shit?

I fed my children Weetabix with a fork last week because I had no clean spoons. If there is string in one of my sandwiches it is because it is a string sandwich.

Here is my step by step guide to the perfect summer holiday picnic.

1. Announce your plans to children. Spend the next 30 minutes repeatedly answering the following questions 'Are we going on a picnic now?' 'How about now?' Now are we going on a picnic?'

2. Open fridge. Ignore smell. Remove contents and place into a cool bag along with not enough spoons and one knife for the baby to play with later whilst you have a snooze.

3. Remove picnic blanket from washing basket. Stuff under pram on top of the baby wipes you definitely put in there.

4. In a carrier bag place one change of clothing for each child, one towel, sun hats (for exercise: bend down, pick up, repeat) and sun cream. Decide not to apply sun cream until you are in park and feel guilty when you see other parents putting it on.

5. Tell children it is picnic time. Spend the next 30 minutes dealing with crying children who refuse to leave the house. 'I don't want to go on a picnic.' 'Why can't we just stay here?' ' I hate picnics.'

6. Leave house exhausted. Travel to picnic destination in silent anger. You can do this whilst driving or walking.

7. Arrive at park. Shake out picnic blanket. Decide on inspection grass is probably cleaner. Stuff blanket back under pram, realise there are no baby wipes, discover baby has dirty nappy, change baby on grass using 2 tiny coffee shop napkins.

8. Unpack delicious picnic - 1 jar pickled onions for the baby, last night's left over pasta for the toddler, a bottle of ketchup and a whole camembert for mummy - all served on purple rice cakes.

9. Lie back, relax and remember: At least you have cleaned out the fridge today.