At last Spring is really here. This is a time of the year that I love. We say goodbye to the long cold days of winter and welcome the brightness of spring and the knowledge that the world is warming up and life is easier. When I was younger I was only slightly aware of what a wonderful moment in the year we reached when March was coming to an end. I knew that I could go out to play with my friends for longer and come home a bit later. But now, as an adult I simply love when spring arrives and summer beckons.
So what are the facts?
1Birdsong: When you go for a walk you realise that the sounds are different. The birds start singing earlier. In this part of Scotland you can hear birdsong from 05:30 when the birds start to fill up their lungs and greet the sun. They go a little quieter during the day as they busily search for food and nesting material, but from 6pm they will once again start to sing and continue from the treetops or the chimney pots until sunset.
2 Consumer changes. Any visit to a shop or supermarket will mean the sight of Easter foods everywhere. The little chocolate eggs appear as soon as Christmas is over. No relaxation in chocolate eating in this country. As well as the thousands of calories to be consumed in a little egg, you also have the chance to choose a huge egg, beautifully packed in an inviting box. But be careful as these crazily huge eggs are disappointingly lacking in chocolate.
3 Traditions: there are many customs associated with Easter, all with some connection to fertility and, of course, Christian traditions. The favourite one in Scotland is the “rolling of the eggs” This involves hard boiling chicken eggs, painting them in any way you choose and lastly going in search of a hill to roll them down. If your egg is lucky enough to survive intact you can then eat it. A delicious mini picnic.