Eggless at Easter.
I admit to feeling a little bit sad.
It’s a horrid time to be alone, and even worse than Christmas, when at least you can gatecrash people’s parties or go to the pub to mix with other loners.
I used to love Easter as a kid. On Good Friday, my brother and I would be dispatched to “Jean the shop” in the village of Coity to pick up the hot cross buns, and eat them, still warm, at the kitchen table. Saturday night would be like Christmas Eve, in sleepless anticipation of the cache we would find at the bottom of our beds, come Easter morning.
The violet foil that was the Cadbury’s egg with its brown cellophane bag of buttons; the pot of gold that was Crunchie; the mini eggs stashed like private jewels in a chocolate case that opened with all the joy of cracking a safe. I loved them all.
I can’t remember when the eggs stopped, although I suspect it was during my teens, when concerns about my body outweighed the chocolate. But although I have never had much of a sweet tooth, there is just something about an Easter egg that brings out the chocolate lover lurking in my savoury depths, and, this morning, I am really craving an egg.
My oldest school-friend posted on Facebook that she is feeling lonely, and I know what she means. Despite the chocolate, there has always been something faintly depressing about Easter.
I blame the church. As soon as the joys of Christmas were past, the hymns we sang in Hope Baptist Chapel in Bridgend, where I grew up, definitely took a turn for the sombre in the months leading up to Easter. Green hills far away, rugged crosses, bloodied limbs – it was all a reminder that lovely as Jesus’s birth was, we should not forget the real meaning of Christmas – which was a very gory death.
Then came Easter Sunday, and the hymns took a bit of an upturn. “Jesus Christ is risen today, Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-le-eh-lu-u-jah!”
And we would go home from church to secretly stuff our faces full of chocolate and spend the rest of the day in disgrace because we had “spoiled” our dinner.
But as an adult living alone, Easter is the most depressing of all holidays and seems even more of an exclusive – and excluding - family time than Christmas. At Christmas, people tend to stay at home and catch up with friends and family; at Easter, they all head off, usually to catch some sun after the depressing winter they have invariably endured.
Quite why they do this is beyond me. Last week, I caught an easyjet flight to Malaga that was nothing more than a flying crèche; Cardiff’s Apple store yesterday had nine appointments free in the Genius Bar. I wanted my computer to have problems just so that I could take advantage of them.
So, being at home by myself, I have decided that this year, I am not going to be eggless and lonely. I am going to go to the shop and buy up all the 50% discounted eggs, head for the pub, watch the rugby, and not think about crosses and blood.
Let’s think resurrection, not recession.
Cadbury – my gullet awaits.