Jaqui's Daily Blog

On Planning Surprises

I have it on excellent authority (as in, the Middle of the Darling Daughters) that granddaughter Tala, elder of the twins by one important minute, has Easter at Nanni and Grandad’s completely sussed. I mean, I know I am predictable but, well, really...


Tala has a pretty phenomenal memory. It probably comes from having a London cabbie as a father. It is a proven fact that learning The Knowledge (that incredibly difficult test before a London cabbie qualifies to drive a black cab) increases the size of the hippocampus. That’s the part of the brain concerned with learning and memory, don’t you know? No need to thank me for this priceless piece of useless information - I do like the Daily Blog to come over all educational every so often. 


I can’t imagine Tala, at the tender age of six, has heard of the hippocampus - if she has, then she probably thinks it’s the same as a hippopotamus. What she has absorbed is a faultless memory of Easters Past.


Apparently, walking to school with a pal, my granddaughter was holding forth at some length on the coming weekend’s activities. Her mother couldn’t help but eavesdrop on the conversation. So like me, she is. Every year, Tala informed her friend (who may or may not have been excited by the revelations) Nanni set out an Easter Egg Trail. When she (as in Tala, not Nanni - do try to keep up) was small, the trail was made up of multi-coloured mega blocks. More recently, arrows and other signs made of sticks and stones have led the way to the hidden cache of Easter eggs. However -


“The Easter eggs are always hidden in the same place!” our fearless reporter concluded, triumphantly. 


So there you have it, dear reader. Come Easter Sunday, do I hide the Easter eggs in their customary place or do I break with tradition? 


In a spare moment I headed up to the jungle at the bottom of the garden to find sticks and stones. I am thinking that maybe I could combine with some written clues? This, of course, will require rather more thought but it might add an extra dimension to the activities. As well as giving Tala something new to tell her pal.  


I’m now thinking of having a Front Garden Hunt and a Back Garden Trail. In the front garden, I will hide the small chocolate eggs I have purchased from the local Co-op (other supermarkets have certainly hatched similar treats); in the back garden I will lay the Trail, using a combination of sticks, stones and (possibly) written clues, leading to the discovery of the three Easter Eggs hidden somewhere different from previous years. In between I am planning to invite the Rascally Trio to plant this year’s sunflower seeds. I have bought a packet of Giant Sunflowers which should please Young Faris who still believes that Big is Best. Presumably, on that basis, Giant must be even better than best. Also - and not to be forgotten - there’s the annual potato and spoon races to prepare and I need to dress the Giant Penguin in appropriate finery. An Easter Bonnet, maybe? I know from the Trio’s proud mamma that on every visit the main topic of conversation in the car on the way down is what the Penguin will be wearing. Presumably Tala can still remember from last time around?


I was starting to wonder why I set myself up to fail every time. Have I fixed the bar just too high? Will I ever learn?


Then I suddenly remembered my dear Dad who never failed to make the most ordinary of activities special. When my Little Sister and I were small, Friday night was “Surprise Night” - we looked forward to it all week. The “surprises” were always the same - Tiny Tots magazine for me, Chicks Own magazine for my sister plus a few sweets each. It never varied, as far as I can remember but Friday night was always, but always, Surprise Night. All these years later, I never forget the thrill. 


I’m hoping our Easter Fun will be every bit as special for the Rascally Trio, even if I do hide their eggs in the same place as always. And when they hold their eggs aloft in triumph, I know just what I’ll say:




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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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