35 degrees today! Ugh! But I won’t go on about that….yet. Anyway.
Easter is one of those extra little holidays that’s nice to have taking up space on the calendar come spring time. As a non-religious person, it serves as an added day of family hang-outs with the bonus of chocolate and treats, which is great! And now that I live in the UK it also means a long weekend, since England is a governmentally-sanctioned Christian country and Good Friday and Easter Monday are both designated as national bank holidays. Niiiice. I had to work on Friday, which was very sad for me as Brighton was essentially an empty ghost town, but tomorrow….tomorrow I will sleep in and laze about all day with Jon. I am greatly looking forward to it!
A few things I’ve noticed when comparing British Easter versus American Easter:
-In America we (ok, who am I kidding-children) get baskets full of goodies. Sweet tarts, Reese Eggs, Skittles, those pastel M&Ms, Peeps, and a hollow chocolate bunny to top it all off (subject to variables, of course)-and usually some toys too. In the UK it seems that the acceptable route is one giant chocolate egg, accompanied by bite size versions of the same chocolate. For example, a Mars Bar egg would come with a few little baby Mars bars. But that’s it, as far as I can tell. Maybe a cream egg or Kinder egg or two. No toys or massive baskets of stuff to be found! Probably for the best, hm?
-No coloring of hard-boiled eggs here. I didn’t notice until today, but I’ve got to say, I’m a little sad. I love hard boiled eggs. Although to be fair, I haven’t colored eggs since I was a kid, so I wasn’t exactly missing that this year either. Jon tells me they do, in fact, have egg hunts here, but they aren’t as common.
-English folk can’t have Easter without the traditional hot cross buns. They’ve been all over the shops and all the cooking shows on tv have been showing off recipes. I don’t recall ever actually eating a hot cross bun back in Ohio. Although obviously I know the song!
-I’ve always thought of American Easter as a honey-baked ham kind of holiday. Thanks Mom! And Paula Dean….but here, I think a roast chicken or lamb is more status quo. Today we had a lovely roast dinner for lunch, with chicken, roast potatoes, kale, sausages, parsnips and some nice wine. For dessert Jon’s mom made a delicious lemon meringue pie, along with bread and butter pudding and a rhubarb crumble. She’s a bit of an overachiever, that one. Very delicious though.
As I said, I’ll take any chance I get for a little extra time off work, hanging with family-even if I miss my own. I would have loved to see my niece scouring her house for treats and her Easter basket (Kale, at two months old, probably didn’t do more than stare with his giant baby eyes). Today Jon’s granddad joined us and it’s nice hanging out with him. He has a lot to say, and I’m sure he’s lonely after losing his wife last month, so I’m just glad we can spend time with him, now. Jon’s brother’s girlfriend is having a little baby soon, at the end of May, and I’ve been thinking lately about the differences of being an aunt to a child through marriage, and how it feels different than being an aunt to my sister’s children. But then, I think of my aunts and uncles, and I’ve never once ever felt that my relationships were different depending on who was blood and who was marriage, and I hope that I’m a good enough aunt to all my current and future nieces and nephews. It’s a big job. Aunt Ashley and Uncle Jon-it sounds pretty cool, and pretty trippy-four years later, I’m still not used to it. I hope we’re doing an okay job.