I’ve written before about my family’s ‘attempt’ at camping at Easter – a few eskies packed and thrown in the back of the ute with ample hot cross buns, marshmallows, cheese and bickies to last until…at least 5.30pm when it starts to get dark and everyone heads home to their warm beds and hot showers! Growing up, Good Friday ‘down the creek’ on our neighbours property was pretty much my exposure to camping, and as my siblings and I have grown up, moved away, had our own families, the Good Friday traditional fish wrapped in foil on the campfire coals slowly faded out.
Until! We decided it needed to be reinstated. With our own growing next generation, and now with the Narracan Creek a stone’s throw from the Brindabella back door, we’re forging a new tradition: Easter Sunday at the creek, still with an egg hunt and the eskies…but now with added lamb spit! Because: not Good Friday. So with lamb now in the mix, we are already winning.
The egg hunt this year was possibly a little too extensive (controversial?) Perhaps it’s just the sugar comedown from ALL OF THE CHOCOLATE that I am still experiencing from my children. Shouty capitals necessary. Just saying I am glad Mr E. Bunny didn’t bring much chocolate. The spot where we ‘camp’ for the day is pretty magical though – as well as full of the perfect egg hiding spots in decades (centuries?) old eucalypts shedding their bark, and sometimes lying silently and solemnly, after their last days have passed them. Our little bunnies, armed with their baskets, hopped to it – collecting foil wrapped gems scattered amongst the bark and branches, logs and wombat holes…and sheep poo.
The lunch feasting didn’t disappoint – lamb on the spit (I think Matt went and lit the spit at about 10am), roasted eggplant, tomatoes, feta, olives, zucchini, a salad of quinoa, pumpkin and pomegranate by my sister, blue cheese, fig paste, homegrown walnuts and chestnuts collected from neighbouring paddocks the day before by my other sister with nieces in tow (think Pied Piper). Yes, we’ve possibly come a long way from the iceberg, coleslaw and potato salad (hold the bacon) from Good Friday’s of the 1980’s and 90’s. Although, of course it can’t be all eggplant this and quinoa that – pfffffft. Aren’t about to do ourselves out of a livelihood are we?! Spuds were dug the day prior also, wrapped in foil and thrown in the fire, smothered with butter and tucked into.
This was the first year in awhile that I hadn’t either been pregnant or wrangling a crawling baby – novel! We usually try and get a whole family photo, easily forgotten or put in the too hard basket, but always appreciated. It’s such a rarity that all four of my siblings, let alone spouses and all seven grand girls are in the one place, best document it! Yes, that’s right – seven granddaughters. No boys. We don’t make boys. #nopressureforaboy
My how they’ve grown! Must be all those chocolate eggs…or potatoes. Filthy, happy kids, shoving chocolate in the faces with gay abandon and running wild with their cousins. Happy to just be together, doing the simple stuff. The girls decided to build a bridge, or rather a ‘beaver dam’ over the creek, a brilliant idea which kept them occupied for the latter hours of the afternoon as the adults sat around the fire in a lamb/cheese/champagne coma. And Harriet? Well she promptly fell asleep for two hours in the back of the Patrol! After deciding wrongly or rightly that she needed a sleep, and me refusing to go home for a few hours, I simply went home and got Crackle and her blankets, made her a bed in the back of the car and she was literally almost asleep before I’d shut the doors! Zonked. Adapability, people, that’s what I’m all about.
There’s some kind of magic in these hills, the red dirt and the icy cold Narracan Creek waters. These are the days I hope our girls remember, mud streaked smiles and belly laughs with the important people in our world. Not much else matters – I can’t think of a better example of ‘a Sunday well spent, brings a week of content’.
Happy, magical, heart-full days.