This year, I’d planned an Easter break around my heavy workload, with a mixture of lovely lazing around, eating many hot cross buns and catching up with friends. The highlight was a Saturday night spent at Arch 1, a teeny-tiny, atmospheric club created under a railway arch somewhere in Docklands.
As Stella, the beautiful drag queen hostess, announced the acts, I would have clapped loudly – only I couldn’t, as I was carefully balancing my iPad ready to film the mentalist and comedy guitarist due on stage: my talented sons!! I rarely mention the boys in this blog, but WOW was I proud!!
Oli’s mentalist act is a cross between mind reading and magic. It was his very first public show and his charm and charisma took him through his set with cheers and awe from the audience.
Ben never fails to get the room laughing and singing, and his rude signature tune always goes down a storm! I’m going to set up a Facebook page for him soon – what better way to promote upcoming gigs to his friends and tell them about special offers?
Following a pit stop for salmon and cream cheese beigals at Brick Lane, I rolled into bed at almost 3am. Easy to forget that my alarm was set for a ridiculously early Sunday start in order to roast a rather large lump of beef in a nice Shiraz. My Twitter friend (and now, real life one!) Robert Puzey was due for Easter lunch.
I’ve mentioned Robert before – the fabulous songwriter who penned the Nolans’ hits. Preparing roasted root vegetables to the tune of I’m in the mood for dancing always brings fun to the more mundane cooking tasks that I generally dislike. But on this occasion, with The Nolans on Spotify, Shiraz keeping me company and a Lindt bunny slowly disappearing, all was happy in my seasonal kitchen.
Robert grew up in Barnardo’s, the children’s home that is within walking distance of my house. His forthcoming book relates tales of his youth there through to his phenomenal success in the music business – and beyond. But for that, my lips are sealed. His stories intertwine with a tragic tale that will be best in his own words.
We spent the afternoon wandering through Barnardo’s lovely grounds as part of Robert’s trip down memory lane. We also toured various schools and parks around the area in the Easter sunshine; it was a perfect day.
I must admit, I wasn’t clear on the true meaning of Easter. So it’s with thanks to Adrian for elucidating the story of the Goddess Eostre. To our early ancestors, whose lives were entwined with the land and the turning of the seasons, this time of year was all about worshipping the beautiful Goddess of Fertility and Springtime Renewal. It’s actually from her that we get the word Easter. Her special month was April, which in Old English was called ‘Eostre-monaþ’ – Eostre’s Month (in Old English, þ makes the sound th). I do love a nice goddess story.
The first English people relied on the land for their existence and felt a close connection to it. Their faith was embedded in our green fields, rolling hills, streams and rivers. Eostre’s sacred symbols, the hare and the egg, transformed over time into our beloved Easter bunny and Easter eggs. The religious importance of the festival came later.
Speaking of festivals… having consumed a ridiculous amount of chocolate, I managed to keep room for a wonderful Seder night at my cousin Susan’s. (Huge thanks for that!) Whether you’ve spent the weekend gorging on chocolate eggs or matzo – or like me, both – I hope you’ve had as much fun.
This is one of my favourite songs from Robert’s songbook. “Don’t love me too hard, don’t push me too far. Don’t try and make me if you want to take me, then don’t play on my heart.” Sometimes business needs a little push. If yours does, I can help… let’s spring clean the garbage, set some new intentions and create a social media strategy to set you up ready for summer. Ask me more about it here: @WeekendWitch.