Had friends up from London, arriving Thursday night and leaving Saturday morning. They managed to catch some of the worst weather I have seen up here. The woman who has only just moved back to the UK after 18 years in Spain would be entitled never to come back to Northumberland, ever. We tried to go for a beach walk twice and thought better of it. Instead, safe in our cars, we watched the white fury of the seas, waves so tall that they seemed to stand on feet, and thick sandy froth churning in the rock pools. We managed a teashop, a country outfitters, a second hand bookshop, a museum and a castle; even so, I am not sure it made up for the weather. On our way into the castle, gusts of ice and sleet leaned against us and I said to the woman: "It's not like this usually you know." I gulped down a mouthful of wet bitter cold wind. "You've caught it on a really bad day." Their visit though was definitely the highlight of Easter.
I just did not find Easter worked for me this year. My mother and father were supposed to come and cancelled because my father did not feel up to it which was disappointing. Usually, we have an egg hunt on Easter Sunday morning with the other children who come up to the cottages along the row. Luckily, two girls were there but three other families did not make it which seemed sad somehow and instead of our traditional glorious, daffodil-coloured sunshine, it was bitterly cold and grey. Once that was over. the children spent the rest of the day either eating chocolate, asking for more chocolate or crying that I had said "No" to more chocolate. It was so bad, by bathtime I had gathered up all the chocolate that was left in the house and informed the children they had eaten quite enough and Easter was officially over. I was braced for revolution but they took it quite well. I think my five-year-old might have been more vocal but this morning he woke up and started throwing up relentlessly with one of his stomach migraines which happen about every six to eight weeks. During these vomiting marathons, he withdraws completely, refusing to answer the simplest question, capable only of staring at the TV or listening to tales of pirates and dinosaurs. He vomits, sips water, vomits again and sleeps. I moved him from bed to lounge to kitchen sofa. This afternoon, he started to rally. As I pulled his washed-out tee-shirt over his head, it seemed as if he remembered something. He said: "Thankyou for doing all you did for me." As I eased down the shirt over his chest, I thought: "Ah, darling one. Happy Easter."