Thank you for your words on my last post. You were kind, reassuring and supportive, just what I needed. Thank you to those who don't usually comment - it was lovely to hear from you. Still, all these years into blogging, I marvel at the warm community of friendship and solidarity that there is here. We still miss our Molly a lot but it gets easier and we are able to talk about her more easily now, and with smiles not tears.
This past week has been deliberately and purposefully quiet. After the sudden warmth of last weekend, the last few days have been cooler but still sunny. We've been out and about a little but spent most of our time at home and in the garden, and I think it's been good for us all. I've always loved the Easter holidays as they're not as pressured and busy as Christmas, or as long as the summer holiday, and it's the time of year to be energised and active, enjoying the garden and fresh air. I have found it difficult to sit still and have taken a lot of comfort in staying busy, doing some spring cleaning and gardening. I've washed clothes, bedding, curtains and cushion covers, emptied cupboards and scrubbed windows. I've jet-washed decking, painted my planter and bought lots of plants for all the pots. I'd have done all these things anyway but I've taken a particular quiet satisfaction - contentment, even - in doing these tasks this week.
I felt that Easter had been a bit overlooked so decorated the house a little. As always, there is so much comfort in the constancy of these traditions, of hanging the same decorations and planning the Easter lunch menu. I put some pussy willow in a vase on the kitchen table and made a little wreath from an embroidery hoop and a few flowers, and hung it above the mantel.
It looks pretty but won't last long.
The children and I made Easter nests, as is our family tradition. They were a massive failure in that Angus poured too many rice crispies into the melted chocolate, so they wouldn't stick together. We're still eating them.
I made a Simnel Cake today for the first time, with homemade marzipan/almond paste. This wasn't as tricky as I thought it would be and, while it was one of those cakes that seems to take all day, I didn't mind that. For once, I don't seem to be in a mad hurry. I haven't tasted it yet though, I'll save that for tomorrow.
It hasn't all been chores though; we visited the submarine museum in the week with the children and that was really good fun; we ate our Domino's pizza on the sofa while watching a film (Star Wars); we had a huge pub lunch then a nice walk yesterday. A couple of nights ago I just sat on the sofa with a glass of red wine and a bag of kettle chips and read a cookery book, for ages. It was brilliant.
Shall we review my impossibly long Easter to-do list?
I have ticked a lot of those off the list but you'll all be glad to know I took your advice and decided I didn't need to clean behind the cooker after all. I haven't done any yoga, or sit ups, but I did go for a run with my sister last Wednesday night. It was my first run in months and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I have almost finished my crochet cardigan, but haven't started the play fruit or vegetables yet. I am reading a lot - books and magazines - and I have cooked and eaten a lot of delicious food. Tomorrow, for Easter lunch, we're roasting a leg of lamb with potatoes, asparagus and spring greens. I always associate Easter with citrus flavours and often do something like a Tart au Citron or Lemon Meringue Pie for dessert, but this year I'm making a Key Lime Pie. We might go for a walk on the beach too - all that food, we'll need to work up an appetite.
Happy Easter to you all. I hope your Easter is both joyful and relaxing and that you do the things you want to do with the people you want to be with.