My Easter Bank Holiday Weekend

Saturday, 14 April 2012
As far as holidays go, Easter has never been one of my favourites, in fact it probably isn't even in my top 5. It's situated towards the bottom of the list right before Martin Luther King Day. Sure when I was little I enjoyed painting hard boiled eggs and searching for my Easter basket which I think I always knew was hidden by my mother and not some giant pastel bunny. But I've never enjoyed the decorations (excessive pastel always worries me) nor the food which for my family often included ham which I distest the most out of all meats. Easter also always conjurs up memories of playing Clue Jr. when my Grandma was watching me and her allowing me to eat an entire white chocolate bunny, which in turn made me violently sick. A bittersweet memory really as I fondly remember the Clue Jr. part of my evening but to this can't eat white chocolate.

Living in England I'm learning to enjoy Easter a bit more, as now instead of chocolate bunnies I get chocolate eggs (which for some reason I feel more comfortable with eating) and a four day weekend! Most bank holidays are just a chance to relax and hopefully, if the English weather system is cooperating, enjoy the sun. However, Luke and I experienced a rather productive bank holiday weekend, with some fun mixed in of course.

We spent our Friday cleaning up the house, partly for my mom's visit and partly because Neil and Nicola were coming over for dinner, and doing last minute grocery shopping. We had planned to serve them coq au vin, but that plan backfired when we discovered Nicola didn't eat meat on Good Friday only fish, a family tradition passed down from her grandmother. After trying to insist to her that chicken was a white meat, and therefore didn't count as the rule only pertained to red meat we were left to find a suitable alternative. To my surprise it was Luke who found the answer to our problems with a receipe he found on the BBC for monkfish chowder. The little star even cooked it all by himself with me acting as sous-chef, and upon tasting it I can tell you I was very proud of him. It was delicious! That evening we had a load of laughs, which greatly increased the more bottles of wine we drank. After dinner we played Trivia Pursuit, Nicola & Luke v. Neil & I and of course Neil and I were the victors. We didn't just win, we destroyed them! After which we watched 10 minutes of GoldenEye that mainly consisted of impersonating Tina Turner doing the theme song before Neil and Nic decided it might be time to call for the taxi.

On Saturday we really got down to business, mainly with tackling our spare room which we had, until Saturday, been using as a dumping ground for everything we weren't sure where to put or hadn't had a chance to put away properly; tolietries, clothes, you name it and it was probably in there. But after a full day of cleaning and organising I can happily report that we indeed now actually have not a spare room but a guest room! As it was still light out, we celebrated by going for a walk in the fields behind our house to see the little lambs, which are getting so big now! Perhaps they are starting to recognise our smell or perhaps as they get older they get braver but we're able to get much closer to them now. We were able to sit a mere two feet away from a group of as they were playing and feeding. I love lambs, they are just so cute and cuddly and their little bahs just make my heart melt.

Sunday was of course Easter Sunday, and we had arranged to go to Southam as Luke had been invited to play in a memorial match in honour of someone he used to know down the rugby club. As he didn't have a game on in Milton Keynes, and because after all it was his old club, he decided to go down and play for the laugh. I went down to watch from the sidelines with Lindsay and Ian. It was actually, I'm ashamed to say, the first time I've been able to watch him play. When he was playing heavily in Manchester I was in America, he only played a few games in Worcester so I didn't get a chance, and since we've moved to Milton Keynes the games have either conflicted with my plans, away, or I've been dumb enough to get lost en route and turned up too late. I throughly enjoyed watching my man play, and of course I most boast that he was certainly one of the best plays out there.

Luke and Pete

After the game we went to Pam and Mick's house (Ian's parents) to give our little 'nephews', Sam and Isaac, their Easter eggs. As I said people don't give bunnies, they give eggs, and the boys we eager to show us their collection. Another difference, instead of hiding painted eggs for the kids to search for, in England they hide chocolate eggs. So I suppose it shouldn't come as a shock to me that when Sam showed me their collection they had some 20 chocolate eggs. Now these aren't just small egg sized bits of chocolate, each one was about the size of my hand. Even three-year-old Sam knew he had an excessive amount of chocolate, which I'm guessing is why he kept trying to give me his chocolate and not eating any himself. At some point Ian got the brilliant idea to help the boys tie Luke up with gaffa (duct) tape. I'm not sure how exactly it started but next thing I know I have a husband lying on the floor with a three and six year old sitting on his back as Isaac giggled wildly. Sam was a little more reluctant to play, and instead kept putting chocolate in Luke's mouth, which was a nice gesture but not very helpful at the time. The day ended playing Uno with Isaac, who after learning it in Florence with us has gotten really good, while Sam fell asleep in my lap.

Luke and his captors

The next day we awoke to not a bright and sunny morning like we had hoped for, but instead to a rainly and cold one. Not at all what we had hoped for considering we were going to Warwick Racecourse to see some horse racing. Not really my cup of tea as the last time I went was the freezing New Years' Eve 2010. It seems to be a bit of an English tradition though, bank holiday means horse racing. I love horses, I just don't get enjoyment of watching them run around in a circle and contrary to popular belief just because I'm from Las Vegas doesn't mean I enjoy betting. I tried to make sense of the odds, but I might as well have been trying to read ancient Egyptian. While the people around me made bets, Luke and I were people watching. And let me tell you there were some sights to be seen! Girls wearing so much fake tan they looked like oompa loompas walking around in six inch heels and dresses so short had they bent over little would have been left to the imagination. Guys wearing suits three sizes too big for them were even more offensive. I kept finding myself thinking 'has one never heard of a tailor?' In an effort to be more politically correct, let's just say that the day was a cultural experience.

Luke, Lindsay, and I ended up leaving early as it was far too cold and too wet to carry on, and to be honest both Luke and I had had enough of the races by then. After a cup of tea with Lindsay we headed home, and surprisingly were not met with any holiday traffic.The weekend ended curled up in bed with a cup of tea watching Tangled.

My mom was supposed to arrive this morning, but unfortunately the flight she was supposed to take from New York was oversold, as well as the following two flights. Which means she's currently stuck in a dingy airport hotel outside JFK instead of here with us. Fingers crossed she'll be here tomorrow morning.

Erin x


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