Tuesday, March 22, 2005


What shall we do this weekend?

With the Easter weekend approaching, the usual family question applies: what shall we do this weekend?

In the UK, and probably in most of the Northern Hemisphere, the Easter weekend is the first major gardening opportunity of the season. Those who don’t garden do home improvements. The DIY stores and garden centres will already be overflowing with stock and the locust-like descent of paying customers has been planned for months in advance.

Here, in this relaxed corner of the southern hemisphere, you might expect things to be very different. They aren’t.

It would seem that DIY will be a popular Easter activity here too, as the shops are (relatively) brimming with tools, paint, etc. Some have even set up window displays.
On the gardening front, the heat of summer is now beginning to abate (except, for no apparent reason, in Jamestown, where we are all still sweltering), so it may be a good time to plant things without the imminent danger of them expiring in the heat.
But, I am reliably informed, the ‘thing to do’ this weekend is to go camping. For the less adventurous, having a picnic is in order.

I can’t remember the last time I went camping. No, I apologise – I can remember, but would prefer to forget it. I don’t think any adult in my family would welcome the suggestion, but we may try for a picnic. We have begun planning.

Step 1 was to buy a cool box. Strangely, these are available. We bought quite a large one so there is room for enough food to satisfy an invading army, which should be just about enough for a family with two small children. The only problem is that we can’t buy any of the ice-bricks that go in the cool box to keep everything cool. So we have a non-cool cool box.

Then we have to secure supplies of picnic-type things. Sandwiches might be the obvious answer, except that orders for Easter bread have already closed and our bread-maker machine is still on the high seas en-route here from the UK, so maybe we will have to have sandwiches without bread.

I have previously commented on the fruit supply, though I can report that Catherine has – by means fair or foul (I daren’t enquire) - secured some supplies of peaches, grapes and even plums. And bananas are not a problem – they grow on trees.

Drinks are not too big a problem as the kids will drink most of the juices on offer, though you can’t get large bottles of water at the moment. But, on the whole, a picnic may be an option.

However, there is one respect in which a St. Helenian Easter may be exactly the same as we normally experience in the UK. It has already started raining . . . .

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