Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Easter Extravaganza

It's nearly Easter Holidays and I must say I am looking forward to them enormously.In some ways I like Easter better than Christmas. Fond memories from childhood - making bonnets,decorating eggs and growing miniature Easter Gardens at Sunday School.

'Me, too,'says Mrs Pumphrey. 'Because in honour of the memory of Mrs Miggins, Mrs Slocombe and I have decided to organise an Easter Extravaganza...'
'...because Easter is the celebration of new life, new birth, the great circle of Nature...' interrupts Mrs Slocombe.
'And chocolate eggs,' adds Mrs Pumphrey.
'And Simple Cake,' says Mrs Slocombe.
'Simnel,' says Mrs Pumphrey.
'That's what I said,' says Mrs S.

'Talking of eggs,' I said, 'I'd like to thank you two for your sterling egg laying efforts over the last four days. Four days on the trot and you've both laid an egg every day. That's very good going.'
'It's the warm weather,' says Mrs Pumphrey.
'I did wonder,' I said.

It has been very warm. Today has been positively sweltering. I am glad the school has finally turned off the radiator beneath my desk, the one I am grateful for in the freeze of Winter.

'What about Simple Cake?' says Mrs Slocombe. 'Where do you stand on that?'
'Very hard in wellies,' I say, 'because while the cake bit is okay, the thick layer of marzipan on top is disgusting and should be against the law.'

I don't do marzipan. Why tamper with a perfectly good nut and turn it into something that looks and tastes like Plasticine?

'Oh,' says Mrs Slocombe, 'only we were hoping you'd bake a few for our Easter Extravaganza.'
'Sorry,' I say. 'But I will make you some of those little chocolate crispy nests with baby chocolate eggs inside, and some bunny shaped Easter biscuits if you like.'

'What about some hot cross buns?' says Mrs Pumphrey, who, since the demise of her best pottering buddy, has developed a ruthless bargaining streak.
'Okay,' I say. 'I'll do you some hot cross buns as well. Although I won't be held responsible for either their eventual size, which will be variable or their shape which will be the approximation of an elephant head.'

I have made hot cross buns in the past. Somehow, they always emerge from the oven slightly less uniform than when they entered. I blame my oven. I hate my oven. I am sensing a new oven (something large and rangy) on the horizon.

'So tell me more about this Easter Extravanganza,' I say. I'm not sure I want to know the full details, given my experiences of their Winter Extravaganza and their Bonfire Night Extravaganza. I just need to know if I should leave the country for a few days.

'Well,' says Mrs Pumphrey, taking a note-book in the shape of a rabbit from her apron pocket, 'we are going to organise a massive screening of a Biblical epic in glorious technicolour, then have a proper afternoon tea with cake stands and doilies. And then we are going to plant some flower bulbs and then eat chocolate eggs until we are sick.'

'Sounds like a plan,' I say.

'I'm quite keen to have a game of Easter Pole,' says Mrs Slocombe, who has her own note- book in the shape of a giraffe.
'Easter Pole?' I say. 'Don't you mean May Pole? Where you dance around with ribbons and invoke the gods of fertility?'
'You dance around a pole with ribbons and do your invoking if you like,' says Mrs Slocombe. 'But I want to play the game where you get to be a secret detective in foreign lands.'
'I think you're getting confused with Interpol,' I say.
'I think not,' says Mrs Slocombe, eyeing up my knee caps which are bare and skirt clad in celebration of a hot and sunny day.

So lots to do in the impending holidays then. Mostly to do with cakes and flowers. Which are two of my very favourite things.

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