I may have long prided myself on my legendary Easter Egg Trails - but this year I have been royally trumped (a word which is fast taking on an ever more pointed meaning) by My Boy and the Darling Daughter-in-Law.
Yesterday, Easter Day, they prepared not one, not two, but three trails, one for each of the (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys. All three Trails were comprised of a number of clues, the solving of each clue leading
to the discovery of the next poser until the end - or should I say, the egg - was reached. What's more, most of the clues were - wait for it - in rhyme. When I related this to grandson, Jack, who phoned us today to say cheerio before he caught his train back
to Uni, he described this as "dedication." I couldn't argue with his conclusion.
I knew all about the Three Trails because when I contacted the boys via that invaluable aid to Family Togetherness,
FaceTime, I was invited to solve all the clues, one after another. I did pretty well, bearing in mind the distance between us and not being physically present in the hoyse and garden where all the clues were set - though possibly, having reached A Great Age,
it was only what would be expected. Besides, having dreamed up many clues myself over the years, I know most of the obvious hiding places.
There were no clues to be solved in the Easter Trail
I set for Faris the Rascal and The Twinkles when they descended on us (with their mother, the Middle of the Darling Daughters) yesterday. The Rascal knew exactly what to expect: "Where are the chocolate eggs?" he enquired, engagingly just as soon as he stepped
through the front door. That's what I love about four year olds - they are so endearingly direct.
First of all it was time for lunch. The Middle of the Darling
Daughters produced lovingly prepared picnic boxes for each child. "These have been such a good idea!" she pronounced, as she encouraged the Trio to line up on the sofa, lunch packs on their knees. Her littl'uns immediately proved her wrong by refusing to eat
the sandwiches, opening the healthy cake bars and discarding them after one bite and then heading into the kitchen and making straight for my cake tins wherein reside much more grown-up biscuits like shortbread fingers and chocolate digestives.
My Trail was, as per last year, made up of colourful mega-blocks, starting at the front door and winding its way along the side of the house, through the side gate and all
around the garden to a spot hidden behind the bushes where three eggs nestled in a washing up bowl, covered by a tray and guarded by three soft toys. If you are thinking that I had gone to surprising lengths to cover up the eggs then you need to know that
our garden is currently under siege from an extremely large and predatory sea gull. I couldn't take the risk of Theft By Sea Gull - it would have been just too distressing.
The Rascal added a new twist to this year's Trail by deciding to pick up each mega block using Mr B's "grabber". His mother and I both felt this was a great idea as we imagined it would make the excitement of discovery last rather longer. We had forgotten
that Tala and Lilia would not want to stand by while their brother painstakingly collected each block - instead they were off, running (as per usual) in completely different directions, grabbing my Colourful Clues and bearing them back to me in triumph. Just
why it didn't occur to me that this Feisty Threesome would obviously not abide by my Trail Rules when their own were so much more fun I can't imagine.
result, of course, was that the Trail didn't actually lead where it was supposed to lead, owing to the large number of blocks removed by one Twinkle or another. How we actually all reached the hiding place at more or less the same time - though obviously approaching
from completely different angles - is a Mystery to Me but reach it we did. The eggs were recovered and borne aloft to the lawn to be opened.
I thought I had chosen
so well - an egg with a football decoration for The Rascal, eggs with butterfly decorations for the twins. "No preservatives!" said the label on each box. Well, let's face it, they weren't going to last long anyway. Unfortunately I had reckoned without Lilia
and her strange fears. Last Easter she freaked out at the smile on the face of her chocolate bunny; this year she regarded the butterfly on her chocolate egg with great suspicion and needed lots of reassurance that it was not the least bit real.
Later that evening, my daughter sent me a photo of Tala the Diva, her mouth liberally smeared with chocolate. "Sums up our day!" she commented.
A sunny garden. An Easter Trail. Plus chocolate to boot.