The last two days have been fairly varied and marginally calmer than my life usually is. We all had a bit of a lie in on Friday morning and then my former common-law sister-in-law, Eliza, came round for a coffee and to give the chaps their Easter Eggs. We decided to go to a performance of Stainer’s ‘Crucifixion’ at Rothwell Church in the evening, which seemed particularly appropriate being Good Friday.
Not that anyone would have known it was Good Friday. My electric food mixer decelerated to a halt on Thursday and I had to buy another one in order to make Simnel Cakes for Easter. I know, I know, I have a wooden spoon and I’m not afraid to use it but time is precious, it is. I naively rang Argos to see if they were open on Good Friday and the girl on the end of the ‘phone came as close as she dared to saying ‘Errr yeah, durr?’ (you can add the irritating teenage inflection yourself).
When I went into Market Harborough it was clearly just another shopping day with every shop packed to the gills with people loading up trolleys for the oncoming siege situation of a Bank Holiday. I bought my mixer, taking care to take out the extra 3-year cover, as the last two mixers have only lasted me a year each. Well, a year and three days actually so they were JUST out of warranty. (Insert your own choice of compound swearing here).
I dropped the boys in Welland Park for a couple of hours and went home to make Simnel Cakes. The delicious smell of hot cinnamon, nutmeg and fruit cake wafted around the house in a tantalising way as I rolled out the marzipan for the top and made the 11 balls for the disciples (twelve minus one for Judas Iscariot).
I left the last two in the oven and went back into town to pick the chaps up. Welland Park is a wonderful facility just on the outskirts of Market Harborough. There are tennis courts and bowling greens, a cafe for tea and ice cream and a massive play area for the children, as well as open grassed areas for ball games or sitting quietly under the trees picnicking.
But the most glorious thing is the gardens. As you walk in past the tennis courts, there are the most glorious flowerbeds in complementary colours ranging from soft pinks and mauves to vibrant reds and oranges. My favourite was a bed full of swathes of forget-me-nots in pink, white and blue with deep mauve tulips standing guard over their smaller, fluffier cousins.
As I walked towards the playground, I passed through the rose garden which has the bell tower from Symington’s factory as the centrepiece, and which has just been planted with tiny, intricately patterned box hedges. In the summer the smell from this garden is heavenly from roses, lavender and the honeysuckle which boldly scales the trellises and archways round the edge. We are fortunate indeed.
In the evening, we collected Eliza and headed off to Rothwell to hear ‘Crucifixion’. It’s not an easy piece of music and it was performed admirably by the choir and the two soloists, particularly as quite a proportion of the choir can’t read music. There are some familiar hymns in it and the congregation joined in which was most enjoyable. It’s a very moving piece and just the thing to round off Good Friday.
Today, I dropped the boys off with their father and headed into town, which was even more packed than it was yesterday. I bought some wide ribbon to finish off my cakes then returned home and ate my lunch whilst watching a repeat of James May making his plasticene garden for The Chelsea Flower Show. St George’s Day appears to have been completely forgotten in all the excitement of Easter and a Royal Wedding. I shall have Mushrooms for supper (after Dr Who, of course – hurrah!).
Tomorrow morning, I am driving down to London to pick up The Aged Parent and take her to Sister the Second for Easter Day. I am hoping for many Lindt Bunnies for I have been a good girl all year. So far anyway…
On Monday it is The Hallaton Bottle Kicking and Hare Pie Scramble. Hip Hip Hurrah!