It’s almost the Easter holidays. Easter is a bit of a strange one if, like me, you don’t do church. Four consecutive days that more or less the whole country takes off work. That’s longer than Christmas and without the distractions of presents and turkey. It’s generally too chilly to do much outside and whatever you think of doing has already been thought of by millions of others so everywhere is packed. Attractions, beaches, stately homes, shopping centres – they are all filled with people trying to have fun together on their long awaited Bank Holiday weekend. Even our humble little town is suddenly full to the gunnels of visitors who pile in by train and bus to fill a few long hours.
So we tend to retreat and eat chocolate and wait for it to pass. A few years ago I had this romantic notion of a country cottage by the sea. I pictured us all on a warm and sunny beach playing French cricket and wearing Boden fleeces. In accordance with my little dream, we booked a recently converted barn in Norfolk. The barn was lovely but we were virtually snowed in for the whole week. It cost us a fortune in entrance fees because that biting Siberian wind prevented more than a few minutes outside at any one time. I had to rustle meals out of nothing because the nearest supermarket was half a day’s trek away and there was no Sky box.
Never again, I said to my husband. If ever I start wittering on about country cottages in England at Easter, stop me and remind me of the reality of the situation. He promises that he will.
So this year we will be at home for the Easter weekend. I have bought enough eggs to make a reasonably satisfactory egg hunt that should last at least 20 minutes if I hide the eggs judiciously and I will stock up on those DVDs we keep meaning to watch as a family but never quite do. And it’s probably no bad thing as the weather men are predicting yet more snow. I will be able look at it from the comfort of my own sofa and stay inside with a warm drink and a chocolate egg or two. Let the more adventurous types go to cottages in the middle of nowhere. I’m staying put.