6.Village survival, when the Easter Egg Hunt went a bit….


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Easter Bunny
I have a real fondness of the Easter break, and I definitely prefer it to the Christmas hols. Pound for pound I think Easter is far better value: you get the bank holidays but no pressure to decorate your house (unless you want to) no compulsion to roast a large turkey (unless you want to) and you are actively encouraged to consume hot cross buns and chocolate with abandon. This time of year brings new optimism, there are more daylight hours and sanguine yellow flowers seem to bob about saying “Go on Winter – move along, we’re here now and it’s officially Spring – yay!” There’s all manner of hopeful and cheerful things in the shops like picnic blankets, outdoor wine glasses, barbecue utensils and all those nautical fripperies (blue and white stripedness) beach huts on scatter cushions and drift wood thingys – love that gubbins. I always think there is a bit of pressure (not sure where it comes from) to do something you’ve been putting off over this weekend, home improvement stores bang on at us for weeks about what we should be fixing and bettering, however I’m intending to find time to NOT paint the spare room! Time to NOT tidy up the garden and plenty of time to NOT not eat chocolate for four whole days! A double negative is a positive after all!

Just wanted to say also that I’m quite new to Twitter, but I’m really loving getting connected with lots of lovely new peops!
So, The Village Easter Egg Hunt: The weather has been inappropriately (and rather rudely) rubbish since the children broke up and this didn’t abate on Saturday for the Vertonbridge and All Saints Primary School Easter Egg Hunt (bit of a mouthful, the poster designer had fun fitting that on A4).
Year on year this is a quaint and somewhat parochial event that, as the name suggests, involves, hunting for Easter Eggs. These are wooden, beautifully patterned and hidden all over the village green. Each overexcited child is issued with a small whicker basket and for about 30 minutes all hell breaks loose while they run about like crazed loons, skidding on duck poo, tripping on mole hills, falling over in the mud (it always rains the night before, it’s the law I’m afraid), fighting and wrestling each other for eggs. The duck and geese on the pond scatter noisily and parents (often freezing their arses off) wince on the sidelines as children tussle (that’s being polite-openly commit affray) for the eggs. Once the children are suitably filthy, exhausted (quite possibly infected with salmonella from intimate contact with wildfowl poo) and the wooden eggs are all found they can cash them in at the village hall and each receive a large chocolate egg in return. These are handed out by the Easter Bunny who is in fact Mr Bygraves the headmaster dressed up, but some of the littlest children think that the Easter Bunny is ‘real’, much like Father Christmas when he turns up at the Christmas Bazaar. Bless. The bigger kids don’t give a monkeys who or what the Easter Bunny is, they just know he’s the go-to guy for chocolate.
This year’s Egg Hunt seemed to start off as quaintly and uneventfully as any other year.
Anna (local best friend) and I were busy in the village hall, our children were on the Village Green with their Dads as we had been purloined by Clare (the PFA Vice Chair) to run the Hot Drinks and Refreshments while she wafted around ineffectually flapping her clipboard about. As we were displaying cakes and biscuits on plates we heard the familiar clip clop of Horsewoman (annoying local mum, who gets right on my thruppenny bits) riding into town on Nancy her horse with her daughter Skyla onboard her pony Rusty. Rusty was as broad as he was tall – very Thelwell! Skyla looked like she was doing the splits. Horsewoman tied up Nancy and Rusty on the verge outside the village hall. I’m sure that’s not normal and doesn’t happen in other villages?  What did she think Vertonbridge was – the O.K Corral? Dodge City? Then Horsewoman took Skyla off to join the egg hunting scrum and Mr Bygraves showed up in his Easter Bunny costume. He proceeded to demand a strong cup of coffee and a large slice of carrot cake (no pun intended) – no one likes an Easter Bunny with coffee breath.
Anna and I got on with boiling the kettles and chucking doilies about, secretly grateful that we weren’t standing outside in the cold and rain when suddenly a swan (yes a real life swan) came waddling into the village hall through the open backdoors. This was super weird because swans aren’t very sociable (always in the kitchen at parties), they don’t tend to wander into buildings and as far as I know aren’t that keen on frosted cupcakes. However something was seriously up with this swan, it was swaying about as it walked and it looked, well how do I put it – pissed, like it had been out on an all night bender and needed to go to bed or have a fry-up. Anna who is more into animals than me (she owns a dog- I don’t) went to investigate, she managed to get quite close to the giant bird (they are surprisingly huge when they are upright and their neck is elongated) and she noticed a great grey mark down one side of it’s flank (no blood thankfully).
“Been hit by a car or something,” she concluded sagely.
The poor dejected waterbird didn’t seem dangerous, but nevertheless we decided to calmly encourage it back outside again. Right on bloody cue, a couple of shrieking duck poo covered kids ran into the hall wanting the toilet. The swan panicked and streaked clumsily out of the front doors honking and flapping it’s wings in terror. This in turn spooked Nancy and Rusty who both tugged themselves free in fright and bolted onto the Village Green bucking and rearing as they went. Further freaking out ensued as all the mucky children ran screaming from every direction to the safety of the village hall, whereupon the Littlies found the Easter Bunny (because he didn’t have his head on) was in fact Mr Bygraves (chowing down on carrot cake) even more crying and upset was guaranteed. However (thankfully no small people were harmed in the making of this Egg hunt) and we sold all of the cakes to the distressed children and sugary teas to the parents! All proceeds to the PFA you know!
Inspirational/motivational words of the day. I haven’t got any really – eat chocolate and avoid duck poo!

More next week.
As you were.
PS. The local wildlife rescue centre took the swan away to get mended. I’ll let you know how it is. Nancy the horse and Rusty the pony may not be dropping dung outside my house any time soon (my roses will be disappointed) because Mr Bygraves has banned them from the village- what jurisdiction he has – I do not know! Maybe he thinks he’s the Sheriff (fancies himself as Wyatt Earp).
PPS, Happy Easter Monday, hope you’re having an eggstra cool Easter break.
Note to myself: the one when the Easter Egg Hunt goes wrong!

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