seasons :: springtime and Easter

Springtime and Easter, a glorious combination – and it was heavenly here yesterday, warm sunshine and very calm…and I don’t just mean the weather, the neighbourhood felt very calm. Normally, on Good Friday our cul-de-sac would be a hive of activity, cars up and down going shopping and out and about. But not this year.

If the virus has done anything it has given us a real taste of a simpler life, of how life might be if we stayed home more, walked more and relied on ourselves for entertainment and amusement. In some ways I am enjoying the lock down (not the shopping though, never that), for us there is no pressure to do anything, go anywhere – we can, for once, just please ourselves. I know it is not like this for everyone – my elder daughter who had just returned to work for 3 days a week now works at home; her husband works a full 5 day week and he is working at home, they now have no childcare so are trying to fit 8 days of work into one week as well as looking after a toddler. My other daughter is looking after 2 young children whilst trying to fit in the demands of working from home.

Now a very strange Easter is upon us, no family gatherings, no Easter egg hunts with the grandchildren and no outings and picnics, but the garden is still a safe refuge and the weather is fine so I for one have really nothing to complain about.

To do our bit to help the NHS from being overburdened we are staying home and only going out for a little exercise but that is mainly in the garden there are plenty of jobs to do out there and each morning when I look out something new has burst into flower.

I ring my mum 2 or 3 times a day as that is all I can do from 90 miles away – the burden of keeping my mum in good spirits is falling heavily on my sister but she is doing her best without complaint even though she is quite busy herself with 3 of them trying to do their work from home. Mum had another tumble on Thursday and she had to use her call buzzer that she now keeps around her neck. The paramedics arrived at the same time as my sister and they got her back up onto the chair and checked her over. No harm done this time thank goodness. A spell in hospital would be all she needed.

As well as garden maintenance I am keeping myself busy in the house with a bit of spring cleaning and whilst the weather has been so good I seemed to have washed everything in sight; my washing line has been in continuous use drying everything from coats to cushions, blankets and bedding….still all this washing and ironing makes a change from continuously wiping doorknobs and washing hands.

New life is appearing too; only days after planting them the first of my seeds are beginning to sprout. DH has lined and filled the two large planters we bought in the sale at the end of last year and they are ready and waiting when these tiny plants are big enough and strong enough for the outside world.

Yesterday we uncovered the garden furniture and today we will clean down the patio and rearrange the pots. I have already had the parasol out to sheild me from the heat of the sun but I know this good spell will not last and cooler weather will descend once again – so it is a case of make hay while the sunshines.

No matter how different it is this year I didn’t want to let Easter slip by without acknowledging its presence and even though we will be spending it on our own I felt a little decoration seemed in order. I brought down the twiggy decoration with the butterflies that I made last year (it had been sitting on top of the wardrobe in our spare room) and reused this. I shall probably dismantle it after this Easter and make something new for next year. I love the very simple wooden bunny cut outs I bought earlier this year when I went to Hobbycraft.

As well as decorating I decided to make a cake and some buns for the Easter weekend – I have all the ingredients still and some eggs to use up. I always think it makes an occasion a bit more special to have a cake. Chocolate is a favourite with me and DH has, over the years, resigned himself to the fact that chocolate cake will always find a way to appear on our table no matter what the occasion. Easter is no different!

I had to use whatever bits I could find in the pantry to decorate the cakes as I don’t think shopping for cake decorations is classed as absolutely essential, although maybe it should be!

I had intended decorating an Easter egg for each of the grandchildren. I buy those small Cadbury’s eggs with chocolate buttons inside, remove the packaging and then add my own decoration. There was no point in doing one for Little L or Sweetie as it might be weeks before we can go to see them but I did do one for little Freddie as we could drop it off on their doorstep on our way to the supermarket. I suspect it may have had to go into quarantine though but the chocolate buttons will be fine as they came in a sealed packet.

Our big project at the moment is collecting together photos to make a surprise ‘This is your life so far’ book for my elder daughter’s 40th birthday coming up soon. It is quite a time consuming project too but full of wonderful memories when we unearth all those special moments from the past. We did one for my mum a couple of years ago and she loved it.

We are also scanning in a selection of pictures she painted and awards that she gained – I will let everyone have a peek when we have it more underway. At the same time I am planning her surprise virtual party so life will continue to be busy even after this Easter weekend. It is far harder trying to think up ways to celebrate this birthday from a distance and requires perhaps more organisation than a real party would.

So just to wish everyone a Happy Easter whatever you are doing or maybe not doing this year and to anyone reading this who may be having to spend Easter on their own. I would send you a slice of cake if I could!

Stay safe, stay well. x

16 thoughts on “seasons :: springtime and Easter

  1. what an absolutely lovely post. and you are putting the rest of us to shame with all the accomplishments you are doing. whoa. well we all do what we can and take each day at a time. i do enjoy your posts dear lady and the photos. so pretty and happy spring. happy easter and stay well.

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    1. Thank you Deb – I really am not busy all of the time – at the moment a lot of my time is taken up on the telephone to family members. I have made an extra affort for Easter though but am hoping once the photo book and virtual party are done for my daughter I will be able to relax a bit more. I have been thinking of doing some volunteering as well – there are plenty of things to get involved in but I need to wait until I can give it my full attention. Hope you are enjoying the Easter break too. x

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  2. I’m spending Easter thinking about all those who have died in this crisis, those who are grieving for their loved ones, who have seen their loved one leave home in an ambulance and haven’t been able to visit them or be with them as they’ve died. I’m thinking about all the brave NHS staff. I’m worrying about one of my family who works for the NHS and is exposed to the virus on a daily basis.

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    1. Thank you for your comment Jan, as you say these are such dreadful times we are living through but not just for NHS workers, the carers who are going in to my mum have no protective equipment at all – it has all been diverted into the NHS leaving them and the elderly they care for very vulnerable. My own son-in-law cannot be with my daughter and our two young grandchildren as he volunteered to go and look after and cook for key workers in an empty hotel. So many unmentioned heroes that are at risk and not receiving any praise but each of us know who they are and can say well done. For all the brave workers and people experiencing loss and difficult times I find that prayer is often the only thing we are able to do and I do that gladly as this is a crisis affecting us all and our loved ones in many different ways but we will get through it and of course our thoughts are with everyone suffering hardship and loss everyday not just over Easter. I pray you and your family keep safe and well. Take care.

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  3. Your cake and buns look yummy. I’m going to make shredded wheat chocolate nests with mini eggs tomorrow. I’ve had a cleaning day today and blitzed the house.

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    1. Ahh mini eggs…my favourite but I have not seen any this year to buy, not that I have lingered in the supermarket to look! I have had a rest from cleaning and have been in the garden instead whilst the weather is good – it certainly helps to lift the spirits being outside, nature carries on regardless and it is heartening to see all the new shoots appearing now. Enjoy your chocolate nests. x

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  4. A lovely cheerful post, which we need in these difficult times. I love your three chickens. I have a place in our dining room where something like those would look great next year. I’ll have to keep an eye out when we’re allowed in the shops again. Although like you, with the exception of not being able to see and hug my family, I’m liking the simpler life, so I’m in no rush to go into the city centre.

    I’m glad your Mum wasn’t to badly affected by her fall, it must be such a worry for you and your sister. Your chocolate cake and buns look delicious and the decorations look pretty good to me! I hope you have a lovely, if quiet, Easter xx

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    1. Thank you Ann. I have had these three chickens for years now, since we bought the cottage in fact back in 2004. We had very few decorations up there as it was always a building site in almost all the rooms and I would hang these in the kitchen over Easter for a touch of normality.
      Have a lovely Easter x

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  5. I’m sorry your mum has taken another tumble. It must be such a worry for you, especially being so far away. It’s a blessing you are able to speak with her as often as you do.
    Your baking looks delicious. I’m also a huge fan of chocolate cake and am happy of any excuse to bake one, although this week I made an orange and rosemary cake, as I knew we’d be making (and eating) Chocolate Easter nests this weekend. X

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  6. Blessed Easter, Viv. Thank you for your lovely, calming post. Trying to make do as best we can while staying out of the public is the best way we can serve those in the front lines of service: Hoping that your Mum may stay stable in the midst of all this.

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  7. We are not big Easter celebrators here, I bought the children a small gift each partly as we have been at home for so long.

    Birthdays in isolation are difficult aren’t they, my daughter will be 11 at the end of May and she is hoping that we won’t be in isolation by then but has realised that that is a distinct possibility. I shall have to work out a way for here to have a virtual birthday party some how.

    You have been so busy, as always, but it always seems that way when we write things down doesn’t it?

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    1. We are the opposite really for Easter – it has always been an event as far back as I can remember. When I was very young Easter was always the start of the picnic season and the wider family would all meet up in Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire for a huge feast of a cooked Sunday dinner on a primus stove. Then when I married and we had children there was always so much going on at church and Sunday school and we had grannies to visit. We also had a few days at my grans caravan in Derbyshire too and would go to the Chatsworth easter egg hunt. When we bought the cottage in Scotland in 2004 the girls had left home, mum and dad were often out with friends and there were no grandchildren on the scene so we would escape up there for 2 weeks – those were the quietest Easters we ever had. Since the flood and mum is now less able we tend to be visiting her and the grandchildren at Easter or like last year because so many family birthdays are on or around Easter we had a big family party.
      This year of course we celebrated on our own and just saw the grandchildren via Zoom.
      I hope you manage to do something for your daughter – the birthdays are hard especially for the younger ones.
      I know what you mean about writing it down – I never seem as busy at the time I am doing things. x

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  8. How worrying for you about your mum! But then so fortunate to have the alert button and that she uses it.

    Your photos are always so calming. I imagine you will make a beautiful photo book for your daughter.

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