Friends of mine have an annual Easter Egg hunt and BBQ which has become so popular that after 9 years now involves most of the residents in their village their, now grown up, children with accompanying boyfriends and girlfriends and in some instances even a third generation in attendance.
Thankfully after so many years of holding this gathering they are now experts in responding to the elements and this year required all their skills.
Despite arctic conditions the marquee was up and heated with a ginormous blow torch like heater. The BBQ overflowed with scrummy home made burgers stuffed full of fresh rosemary, and other meats whilst the tables inside held delectable ratatouille, french sticks, roasty potatoes as well as simnel cake and so much chocolatey stuff that it needed it's own table.
Standing in the hallway watching the 'children' jostle for nearest to the front door position I was reminded of the starting gates at horse races. Eggs had been strategically hidden around the lane, orchard and village along with coloured stars that would redeem the holder with an egg from the overflowing table once back at the ranch.
Bags had been handed out and excitement levels were rising as under starters orders were announced. For my three year old this was all a little over his head. He didn't really understand what an Easter Egg hunt involved but was terribly excited anyway. So as the countdown got underway and everyone else flew out the front door, Columbus and I headed out the back.
In a supreme act of kindness and understanding, Kate and Andy had 'hidden' an assortment of sweets and eggs around their back garden for Columbus to hunt. Thereby keeping him out of the competitive larger 'kids' hunting and ensuring he did actually find some himself.
This was of course not missed by my son who exclaimed "why are we going this way" as we ran out of the kitchen door through the marquee and up the garden. Quick as a flash I explained that we would get ahead of everyone else if we searched the garden first and thereby steal a start and all the booty. Assuaged by this he threw himself into the hunt.
I have to say it was the funniest thing running around their garden with my son and his egg carrying bag, which was nearly as big as him. I'm sure his egg spotting skills will develop but this year required an element of me standing right next to the 'hidden' article and waving my arms around in a not so subtle pointing kind of way whilst saying "hmm I wonder if there are any around here, what do you think Columbus, can you see any?"
Kate and Andy's dog had gone out in the garden earlier and 'discovered' for herself where the cream eggs had been hidden ,so to keep the hunt going a little longer a few packets of sweets were surreptitiously removed and and re-hidden in the garden.
A full bag was gleaned and Columbus spent the rest of the day eating sweets and chocolate and being entertained by the 'bigger' children.
Of course the adults managed to keep themselves amused too.
and I think my eldest had a good time too.
Looking forward to next years, hopefully with a little less nordic conditions. x