Apr. 19th, 2017

sushidog: (Default)
Honestly, DW, I go away for one day, and the bloody PM sets fire to some more things as a distraction from the other things that are on fire. I really just can't even any more, not even slightly.

So I am distracting myself by focusing on other things. Expect frivolity, it's a coping mechanism.
So, Easter weekend!
I had a brilliant plan to make hot cross buns on Friday. The thing is, every time I make hot cross buns, the dough acts all recalcitrant and then rises on the third day. So I planned ahead, and made my dough on Wednesday evening, only to have it spring immediately into life, forcing me to stay up until very late to make the buns there and then because I was worried it would over-stretch itself and fall flat if I waited. Still, that meant I had HCBs for breakfast on Thursday and Friday. But then on Friday I decided that they were all very well, but I wanted cranberry and dark chocolate HCBs instead/as well, so I made those too. They also rose nice and quickly, and I was in less of a rush to get them done, so they turned out really really well.
Other than that, Friday was mostly a really lazy day, which was lovely.
Saturday was also fairly lazy; I silk-dyed an egg, just to see what happened. It worked, mostly, but was a bit patchy; if I do it again, I think I'll cut the silk into pieces and wrap them around the egg, to get more contact; and then maybe use a bit of a pair of tights to wrap it; easier than wrapping it in a flat piece of cotton. Mind you, you can't really eat the egg once it's done, and I'm not really one for things that are purely decorative, so maybe I won't do it again anyway.
In the evening I headed over to Birmingham to meet up with a friend for a quick drink. But the last train is at 11.14, so I didn't stay late. Still, nice to catch up.
On Sunday I drove to Cambridge for Easter lunch with my parents, and my brother and sister-in-law and nephew. We had roast lamb, and there were Easter eggs, so that was good.
Then on Monday I headed down to the Cotswolds for a little solo mini-break. It was really nice to have a couple of days set aside, with an approximate plan but no rush, no deadlines. I stopped off in a couple of villages on the way, to avoid the worst of the traffic and to potter about and have lunch and generally chill out. I stayed at the Duke of Wellington in Bourton-on-the-Water, which is a bit basic and a bit shambolic (there was a whole big to-do when I checked in, as apparently they hadn't quite managed to write my online booking in their day-book, so they weren't entirely expecting me; they reassured me, several times, that they _could_ accommodate me, but it obviously threw them a bit!) but friendly and cosy, and inexpensive. I had a wander round the village, and a scone, and found "my" window in the model Duke of Wellington in the model village, and had a nap (which I never do, normally), and got dinner in the pub, and just generally relaxed. On Tuesday, I went and did the Dragonfly Maze (and solved it, although I was wearing the wrong shoes, which got in the way a bit), and bought what I think is a 1930s clock (it could be 50s; either way, I like it) in a charity shop, and then went on a bit of a pilgrimage. When I had mentioned to my parents that I was going to Bourton, my mum said "Oh, I was born near there, I think, in Wyck Rissington, that's near Bourton, isn't it?" Well, it is, so I went there. It's an absolutely _gorgeous_ village, and I saw it at its best, with the sun shining and the Spring flowers blooming; really lovely. There's not much of it, but I found the Rectory (now a private house, so I couldn't go in) and the church where my grandfather was, briefly, the vicar after WWII. The church, sadly, doesn't have a list of past vicars, as I had hoped, but Ancestry.co.uk has furnished me with the relevant page from the local phone book showing that in 1946, my grandfather was registered at the Rectory in Wyck Rissington. So I have seen the house where my mother was born, which is rather nice.
From there I went to Cirencester for a wander, and then on to Cheltenham, where I trawled the charity shops, but turned up precisely no vintage clothes; I am now worried that I've lost my touch and will never find anything good ever again; ruined!
Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. And Cirencester in particular is very pretty, I shall visit again!
I started to head home, but got hungry, so I stopped for dinner at a convenient pub, the Teddington Hands. And it just so happens that, after Wyck Rissington, my grandfather was the vicar of Teddington, so I swung by the village there too. The church was locked up, unfortunately, so I couldn't go in, but still, retracing my mum's early life was kind of fun.

And then home to Coventry, and back to work today. I'm ignoring politics because, ugh. But I have just had the survey report on the house, and everything seems pretty satisfactory; they're saying the gutters need a bit of maintenance and there's a bit of repointing that could be done on the outside, but basically nothing major, so that's good. Might ask the vendors to take care of that stuff before the exchange; is that what one does?

Over the last couple of weeks there have, of course, been lots of discussions about whether Easter comes from Ishtar, and whether it's actually all about Pagans. One thing that strikes me about those discussions is that there always seems to be an assumption that throughout the entire history of Christianity, Christians have been completely oblivious to the natural world around them; that any reference to seasons or the phases of the moon or the solar calendar or animals or plants must necessarily come from some other religion and not from, just, y'know, the actual world. Like, Christians can't possibly have noticed for themselves that in Spring, there are eggs and bunnies (although I personally have seen several rabbits in the last few days, some up pretty close, and there are pretty light blue eggshells shattered under trees; I have not needed to refer to any religion to notice these things), they must have adopted them from Pagans because those things are Pagan. That's a weird assumption, isn't it? I mean, I know that we, here and now, can be quite detached from nature, but Christianity goes back almost two thousand years, and for much of its history, most Christians were agrarian in some form or another; so of course they're going to live their lives by the seasons, and of course that's going to impact their traditions, whether they pay attention to other people's (or indeed import ideas from their previous religion into their newly-adopted religion) or not.
So, yeah, the idea that bunnies and eggs can't possibly be Christian and therefore must be Babylonian (FFS) falls down in so many ways...

Anyway, how are you? How was your Easter and/or Passover and/or long weekend?


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