What I love about having babies is that you can get more and more into celebrations as time goes on. Easter this year was a cracker (mixed metaphor unintended). I know that chocolate eggs and church and family are great ideas, but it gets ten times better when all four of us are stuffing our faces together. I hadn’t even considered how exciting an egg hunt might be. It was, and even more exciting when I considered that next year we’d have two boys in the game. So it will actually be a hunt, and not just one boy being followed around by three adults looking weirdly and significantly at eggs.
Photo avalanche ahoy, cap’n!
We spent most of the Easter weekend with Tim’s parents, and some of the Monday at Donnington Castle. It’s a funny little atmospheric keep, a little outside of Newbury. It looms out of the pretty suburban landscape all of a sudden and apropos of nothing, and is all the better for that. Once Henry had got over his customary pushchair outrage (sigh) it was a great place to explore.
Can we get a photo with all of us looking at the camera and appearing reasonably pleased? Can we cheffers.
Just before we left, we spent some time and energy assembling Tim’s siblings on a tree branch for an Awkward Family Photo. It turned out very well, I thought. Aren’t they an attractive bunch?
Of course, then the littles wanted a go.
Normally we’d have spent the rest of the afternoon making ourselves a little sick with leftover Easter chocolate, but this year we had an Adventure planned. Tim had meetings in Edinburgh on Tuesday and Manchester on Wednesday, and ages ago (when it had been raining too hard to leave the house for days and the walls were pressing on my head) he suggested that I come with him, leaving the boys in the very capable hands of their auntie. So off we jollied into the Scottish hills and an orange sorbet sunset. And we had the most wonderful time.
I’ve written elsewhere about how much I love Edinburgh (one of my favourite posts from last year). I am terribly, horribly in love with it, and in all guises – even (as I’ve usually seen it) in grizzly rain. Our hotel room was beautiful: one of those that comes with a little spa downstairs and fancy soap, temple balm and lip recoverer in the bathroom, whatever that is. When Tim went off early for his meeting, I had a giant bath, got ready slowly, balmed my temples and recovered my lips, and then headed out by myself to explore.
You can spend as much time as you like in art galleries, when you’re flying solo. Your photos tend to be restricted to mirror selfies, but the freedom more than makes up for it.
I tell you what: all that fuss the National Gallery made about buying those Titians a little while back? TOTALLY WORTH IT.
After a night and a day and a night, we got up extra early and drove down to Manchester. I’d never been, and was rather put off at first by the bankruptcy-worthy parking charges and a shopping mall as big as the sun. But just round the corner, there was this.
There are beautiful things in every pocket in the universe, aren’t there? Happy Easter.
Some of these photographs – nay, many of them – are courtesy of my father-in-law. He has so much more patience behind the camera than I have, and it shows. Thanks Jeremy!