Well it seemed we were no sooner back to routine than we were off on holidays again. With the Easter weekend coming four days after the schools went back.
Easter weekend has always been an important weekend for me as for the Ross household (my maiden name) it meant a trip doun the water to Rothesay town on the Isle of Bute. We stayed each year without fail for years at the Balmoral Hotel on the seafront a Guest House whose owner had gone to the Glasgow cook school and was a fantastic cook.
I have happy memories of these Easter weekends and remember non stop sun which I am sure my parents will tell me was not the case but it’s how I remember it. The weekend was full of traditions. These included on the saturday cream tea at the cafe at Ettrick beach huge meringues and lots of lemonade after playing on that wonderful beach. After dinner each night we went into town and were treated to a night-time milk shake at this cafe which I exaggerate had 100’s of flavours or so it seemed to a small girl. Each morning we walked to get the papers along the sea front to Craigmore and watched the ferry coming in. Other walks included the woods above Rothesay which I loved and caused my imagination to sore with ideas of adventures Famous Five style.
Easter is not though just a holiday its to celebrate an important event in the church calendar the death and resurrection of Jesus. As a child Easter routine also included attending church again on the seafront at Rothesay. Trembling my sister and I would hold hands and attend the sunday school with a sea of faces we didn’t know. We were always rewarded though with a cream egg and as my sister hated them I always gained two and would emerge smiling from church with both eggs in hand. This is remembered clearly by my now brother – in- law who later in Glasgow met and married my sister. But at the time he lived in Rothesay and attended that same church. He said I used to annoy him appearing once a year and then going off with my two cream eggs! Must ask him who my sister hands the cream eggs to these days. Does he now benefit or do the kids?
Eggs were also rolled down one of the hills on Rothesay a pre Sunday dinner routine having spent some considerable time decorating them. I loved that ritual feeling that as the egg opened it was like the stone on the tomb opening on Easter morning.
Today Easter is no longer spent in Rothesay as a family we like to be home in the Scottish Borders. But we still have similar routines that we as a family have created which include lots of walks, planting seeds and vegetables in the garden, hot cross buns on Good Friday.
Church still is an important part of the weekend as celebrating Easter for what it really means is still very important to us. Though I confess that church is not where I feel most spiritual and in that respect I have not changed from child hood. Being brought up all my life attending church it should be one of the places that I feel most at home. Instead the opposite is the case I do believe but have issues with what humans have done to what is a simple gospel for example what is with all the jargon? Go to many churches and you will think a different language is being spoken.
Then like now it is out in the countryside or by the sea where I feel closest to God and this world he has created. So although we attended church for me it was rolling our decorated eggs down the golf course hill that was a spiritual experience as was our long walk round by the Tweed that followed and my walk yesterday with my husband along the Teviot where the hymn “O Lord my God how I in awesome wonder” comes to my mind. Or a quote from the book I have just read “Any Human Heart” by William Boyd whose description of a day walking by the River Tweed really resonated with me.
“A day of total solitude, of tranquil and perfect beauty by the river. A form of happiness I must try to recapture more often.”
But now it is back to work and school. Still only for three days as guess what the Schools are off for yet another week from thursday night. I don’t know whither to despair at how you are meant to work? Or go with the flow enjoy this great weather and do what I do best juggle all aspects of my life!