Roccoscalegna – Men in Tights

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Easter in Abruzzo was colorful. After the solemn procession on Good Friday, we enjoyed this amazing display in Roccoscalegna on Easter Monday. This wonderful village is 20 minutes from my new home. Can’t wait to live there full time.

Good Friday in Abruzzo

Each Village has its own emotional procession. I was honored to be a part of this.



Ode to the Blanchland Daffodils

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Easter approaches and I remember my youth and the way we spent Easter Sunday. We would picnic in beautiful places around England. Sometimes we’d travel for a couple of hours just to find the perfect spot. One my dad’s favorite places to sit and eat his Easter Sunday picnic was Blanchland. We’d spread out a ‘picnic blanket’ and enjoy our ham sandwiches while we watched the sea of Daffodils moving in the breeze. England isn’t renowned for warmth at Easter, so a steaming thermos of tea was a welcome accompaniment. I wish my mam and dad were still around, I’d love to share one more Easter with them. This is for them.

Picnic in Swaledale – Easter’s gone by!

SwaledaleI was young once, I remember it well. Easter was an exciting time when family gathered at a favorite picnic spot on Easter Monday. We usually gathered somewhere in Swaledale. It was often cold, but we’d wrap up warm and lay a picnic blanket on the grass. The traditional feast was home-made Simnel cake, ham sandwiches and chocolate Easter Eggs.

A yorkshire tradition was ‘jarping’ hard boiled eggs. It was a very serious game and sometimes kids cheated.

Egg jarping is a traditional Easter game. In English folk traditions, the game has variously been known as “shackling”, “jarping” or “dumping”.

The rule of the game is simple. One holds a hard-boiled egg and taps the egg of another participant with one’s own egg intending to break the other’s, without breaking one’s own. As with any other game, it has been a subject of cheating; eggs with cement core, alabaster, and even marble eggs have been reported.

On the way home, after the picnic, we’d stop off at a country pub, where the kids would get a rare treat, a glass of Shandy (lemonade and beer mix). Wow, kids drinking beer now, especially here in the US would be CHILD ABUSE! I enjoyed this type of child abuse, and lived to tell the tale.

Years go by and things change. I still enjoy Easter. It’s much more formal and sophisticated now. I have a grown up daughter who is soon to be married. I’m cooking Easter lunch for her and her fiance. It’ll be fun Mimosa’s, ham, lobster mac and cheese, lemon asparagus. A lovely lunch, but I still miss those Easter’s gone by. I miss the greenery of Swaledale, the fun of jarping eggs, but most of all, I miss my Mum and Dad. I know they’re watching over me though. HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!

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Happy Easter – In Loving Memory of Ethel and Wilf

Both of my parents died in the spring time. My dad died in 1988, and my mam in 2002. It seems like yesterday.

When Easter comes around I think of them both.

My dad was buried over the Easter weekend. 

Easter in England is a time of family picnic’s, walks, gatherings and pub lunches. I miss my parents the whole year round, but particularly at Easter.

Love you Mam and Dad. I hope you are together for Easter.

In loving memory of George Wilfred Newman

and Phoebe Ethel Newman.

Easter in England

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Brompton Church

When I think of you both, I think of the beautiful English countryside and our Sunday ‘outings’. I hope you are both proud of me now. I am following my dreams and becoming a writer. It took long enough.

Easter Memories

My very first Easter memory was a picnic on a chilly Easter Monday in the Yorkshire Dales.

We would load up the car with folding chairs, blankets and lots of good food and head out into the countryside. It was always cold, but a wonderful experience. The daffodils would be in full bloom, and the early lambs frolicking nearby. I liked Easter as a child.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many Easter’s came and went, but the next one that stands out in my memory is 1988 when my daughter was young.

I showed her how to dye Easter Eggs in the same way as my mother had shown me, with flowers and onion peel. It was fun.

We also went for a walk to find the perfect branch to put in a vase and decorate ‘German Style’. It was a cold day, but my young daughter skipped and hopped and danced along the country path, enjoying every moment of it.

I miss those special days, but as the years pass by,  life changes and we celebrate special occasions in many different ways. What am I doing for Easter today?, meeting my now 27-year-old daughter for Easter Brunch.

When you get together with your family, it is always a special time.

Enjoy it, treasure it, and remember it.

HAPPY EASTER

A British Easter

The Beautiful North Yorkshire Moors

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Its Easter Sunday and my upcoming visit to England made me remember the way we celebrated Easter when I was a child. Traditions are easily forgotten which is a shame.

The week before easter we would amuse ourselves by collecting wildflowers, dipping their delicate petals in water and then sticking them onto the outside of an egg. Once the egg was covered, we would wrap it tightly in an old rag, preferably one the colors would ‘bleed’ from. We would tie them tightly and then put them all in a big pan filled with water and onion skins. The eggs would boil in the pan for around a half hour and then we would gently take them out and peel off the material and flowers, hoping for a masterpiece. While the eggs were still hot, we would rub butter into the shell to make them shine.

Picture taken from a Serbian Easter - shared traditions

On Easter morning I eat chocolate Easter eggs for breakfast. They were big hollow eggs with treats inside.

Chocolate eggs for breakfast

Then later in the morning, on a sugar high, I would be told to dress in my ‘Sunday Best’ and would go to church with my mother.

Easter Sunday was a gathering of families, with a feast of ham, followed by the traditional simnel cake. Easter Sunday was nice, but my favorite day was Easter Monday, when we all hoped for warm weather so we could drive to a picturesque place and enjoy a traditional easter picnic.

We rolled those beautiful eggs down the hills until the broke, and then we ate them. There was also the traditional egg jarping. We banged each others eggs together, and again the last egg to break was the winner.

We did remember what Easter was about and we celebrated it by shutting down businesses and spending time with our families.