Easter eggs

Had the massed ranks of my family over for a soirée at the weekend and a jolly good time was had by all. Some of us are even able to remember it. The Pensioner looked like a film star and was holding court as usual in her own inimitable fashion, as the youngest selection of nieces moved systematically and undetected through every drawer and cupboard in the house in the quest for something interesting. Later they moved on to my selection of musical instruments, carefully detuning the mandolin, slavering pints of saliva and regurgitated biscuit into the recorder and delighting us with a Shostakovich-like improvisation for six hands at full volume on the organ.

For the first time, I was able to look upon hearing loss as a boon, and I felt that the neighbours might even be glad to have me back on the piano stool after experiencing the alternative. But when one of the children said ” Where’s the violin, Auntie Moira?”, I felt I had to put my foot down and told them that it had been tragically burnt in a fire, which they seemed to accept.

As the afternoon wore on, a long-jumping competition over a human sandpit in the hallway went horribly wrong, when the long-jumper landed on the outstretched legs of the family Highland Dancing champion. Time for a distraction.

I decided to wheel out my cheapskate Easter eggs lovingly made from the glued back together eggshells left over from the making of the spouse’s signature tortilla. There was an initial flurry of excitement about what was inside, but once the tiny hands had cracked the shells open, the disappointment was palpable and there were tears of “I hate Creme Eggs, they’re yukky.”

I reflected upon my emerging pattern of cheapskate gift giving and decided that next year it might be wise to go down the proper Easter egg route.

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