Easter is just around the corner and the weather conspires against the great British (and Irish) public by promising grey, damp and cool Spring weather. My 'holiday' starts today; in truth this is a week starting today I have always taken traditionally as a way of preparing the garden and life in general for the summer. A good spring clean, trips to the tip, central heating turned down or off, houseplants re-potted and conservatory windows open occasionally and we wait for the wires to go up but clearly the race for a decent spring has hardly begun.
I got home yesterday evening and my wife had prepared a list of small jobs: fix a net curtain hook, fix two light fittings and replace all the smoke alarms (they are nearly ten years old but still go off when I over-cook the lamb chops!) This morning I have already cleaned the fish tank and my other half is in a good mood, she's lost three and a half pounds on her diet - she might forget she's written me a list but I'm not holding my breath.
"I haven't spoken to the wife for over a month. We haven't had a row, I just daren't interrupt her!"
I am, I have to confess, a DIY dummy. I sort of get by but I reckon I could have saved thousands of pounds during our near thirty years of marriage by being able to do the plumbing, the electrics and build useful and practical furniture. I once replaced some ceiling lights in my old house with brand new three bulb hanging lights. We had newly decorated and the room looked fabulous. I hooked the wires up firmly fixed the fitting back to the ceiling, switched the electricity on and the lights worked a treat. Trouble was they wouldn't switch off! Needless to say, red faced I had to ring a friend to ask what I had done and even to this day, whilst I did what was instructed, I still don't understand how they worked. I'm not a disaster zone mind, houses don't fall down or anything when I drill a hole in the wall and I've now learned that the right drill and the right plug have to be used with the right sized screw - hey presto it all works!
I don't eat Easter Eggs any more and my diet wouldn't allow it anyway and so apart from being a nice break, I wondered how many people really think about Easter and what it's all about. We could use the same question to ask about Christmas (the celebration of the birth of Jesus) or other religious based holidays such as Whitsuntide (the Holy Spirit approached the Apostles in the form of flames). Do we appreciate what it means and do we trouble to celebrate the origins and reasons of the occasion? Some people do of course, their faith leaves them in no doubt that the execution of Jesus and his Resurrection three days later is the whole basis of Christian religion - without this it seems to me there is no religion, no hope, nothing to look forward to.
The Easter bunny has its origins in folklore of course and some religions do not celebrate Easter at all thinking that some of the things we do are simply pagan. But if His death and Resurrection is so fundamental to our lives - after all it's given us the common thread through the modern western world for nearly 2000 years, then why not celebrate unlike the Jehovah's Witnesses who have a 'memorial' dirge or the Quakers who believe every day is the Lord's day and have no need for extra celebrations.
Whatever you believe (or not) have a great weekend, enjoy the chance to be with family or friends or doing something you really like.
Lord Byron described the English Winter - "...ending in July to recommence in August."