We woke to glorious sparkly sunshine and a light dusting of snow.
N decided a morning walk was obligatory. Quite so. Quick showers. Quick dressing. Quick breakfast. But alas, even though we were out by 11.30am the sun was already playing catch with the clouds. Still, it was better than our usual efforts and we stomped off up the hill with Enid Blyton hearts. The dangling carrot of 'The Pub' spurred the girls on. Not very Enid Blyton.
Mr Hill (L) formed a 'snowman' with her small red-gloved hands which she insisted on carrying all the way (and wondered why her hands were cold). It was a lump of snow with small sticks and grass. But it was hers and she'd made it and she was jolly well holding on to it.
Many were out enjoying the day. Mountain bikers, dog walkers. We stopped and chatted to Abigail on her pony with her parents and spaniel frolicking around its hooves. Just the spaniel, mind. Not the parents. They’re a bit too old for that. They were walking in a seemly fashion, as you might expect. Language, it can be such a trap.
A chilly breeze whipped up, but mostly we were in the lee of the hill. We cast our minds back to last April where the unseasonal summer warmth lapped lazily around us, a tantalizing taste of what was not to come. Same country? Same month? It was hard to believe…
We climbed stone stiles and wooden ladders over dry stone walls, said ‘baa’ to the sheep, pointed out new lambs and fed a horse hay where the footpath led us past its paddock. Down into the valley, alongside the stream, we imagined picnicking in the summer. Vain hopes, I’m sure.
Past friends’ houses, the school and village hall – the pub loomed closer. Wiping muddy boots on a thin grass verge, we pushed open the door into the fuggy heat and hum of happy eaters. A fire burned, we ordered drinks and crisps and toasted our toes. Refreshed and warmed, we left ‘Snowman’, looking a bit bedraggled, on top of the post box and headed back up our hill for a bowl of soup, feeling, for once, that we probably deserved it.
Our own fire was lit, the girls played and tasks were tackled before a family viewing of The Simpsons Movie. Outside the snow fell even as the last rays of light lingered till gone 8 o’clock. We paused for ‘Daddy’s famous’ (spag bol), leaving Homer’s car suspended in mid air as it hurtled off a cliff in Alaska, the white celluloid landscape mirroring the one outside our window.
It was late when the girls got to bed, giggling endlessly over the Simpson catchphrases and singing ‘Spider Pig, Spider Pig’ as they climbed the stairs. But it didn’t matter. It’s the holidays. It’s what they’re all about. It’s just hard to believe it’s Easter.