Easter at White House Farm was always a big family event, almost as huge as Christmas. Anthony and Jackie would visit every year bringing their current partners with them. In later years Colin used to come to celebrate Easter when he was with Sheila and after Nicholas and Daniel were born they would all come.
On Easter Sunday morning, mum and dad would go off to the Church service at St Nicholas Church, Tolleshunt D’Arcy, usually going on their own, although Sheila would occasionally go with them but me, Jackie and Anthony never joined them. Upon Mum and Dad’s return we would all sit down to enjoy a huge roast dinner, usually a big joint of lamb, after which we would exchange Easter eggs. Then it was time for the best part of the day.
Mum used to get about thirty tiny chocolate eggs and wrap them in shiny paper. She would go into the garden after dinner hiding these eggs all over in places like hedges and the rose bushes. We would all rush out to see how many eggs we could find. It was great when you did find one, taking it to mum to trade for one of the larger eggs she had placed in a basket.
By the evening we'd all sit in front of a roaring open fire dad had built in the sitting room roasting marshmallows in the flames. I used to love making toast in the fire and then melting chocolate from one of my eggs on to it—delicious. We’d all get a bit tipsy apart from mum who would just have a sherry.
Dad enjoyed smoking and was a twenty a day man but he always gave up cigarettes for Lent. He could then be a bit grumpy for a couple of days but it soon wore off and when Lent was over he would start smoking again. I can remember dad sitting back with a contented smile on his face, watching his family gorging on chocolate like there was no tomorrow. After an evening filled with fun, silly games, great conversation and laughter, as well as bits of shiny paper everywhere and immense amounts of chocolate, it would be time for bed. We’d often feel sick from the amount of chocolate we had eaten but very happy too.
We don’t get Easter eggs in jail, but with my freedom just around the corner, I know that next year I will be enjoying Easter with friends, feasting on all the different eggs available these days.
Happy Easter to you all.