As children at Easter time we were not fond of listening to the never ending Mass, all dressed up in our Sunday Best – no we definitely preferred the sound of the Sunday bells that announced the start of the Easter egg hunt.
Oh yes!! It was the chocolate we loved, and at Easter it came in all sorts of amusing shapes and sizes: an egg, a fish, a rabbit or even a hen … and the sugar paste decorations and praline fillings that embellished these works of art … and the ribbons, for which we would later find another unexpected use.
What would these famous bells be able to bring us this year we wondered?
The starting gong was always accompanied by the same old phrase “That’s it, and they are off!”
The egg hunt, strangely enough, was a bit like when we went to collect wild mushrooms with mummy. She would always spot them before we did, guiding us with the words “you’re getting warmer, you’re getting colder, you’re really close now.”
While all this was going on, Papa would head to the cellar to get his most recent vintage to pour for the family who were sure to turn up in their droves to share our shoulder of lamb and cepes.
So then, this Sunday, when we come to hide our eggs for our own children, we will be feeling nostalgic, but also excited by the time of year and we won’t hide our joy as we shout out to them: “That’s it, and they’re off!”
And when we gather around the table this weekend and offer our parents, aunts, uncles and cousins, our own 2015 vintage it will be with a feeling of pride, but also with a little anxiety – until we hear that completely reassuring phrase “Well done, your 2015 is fantastic!”