Happy Belated Easter! It’s not quite what I’m used to this time of year. Usually, my family and I pay a visit to National Trust locations in the UK, and this year my friends and I had planned on travelling to somewhere in Australia…well, you can probably guess how those plans have gone this time.
Instead, much like the rest of the world, I stayed home with my family. The UK was lucky enough to even get some sunshine! This meant that everyone was out in their gardens, preparing for the summer, and getting jobs done that we can’t usually do because of the spring downpours.
My family aren’t particularly religious, so we don’t attend church services in normal circumstances, but we do gather to have a roast dinner together on Easter Sunday and gift each other chocolate eggs that we binge on for the next few nights. But, due to the little lockdown currently in place, it was just my dad and me at his house, and we had quite a productive time! While he was building yet another shed in the back garden, I spent a few days painting the newly-constructed porch. By day three, all I could smell was paint and my hands were aching. When the rain decided to make a reappearance, I spent my time indoors reading and writing up ideas for a new story.
On the other side with my mum, we usually follow a different tradition which leads to celebrating two Easters. Yes, two.
My mum’s side of the family is Russian, and their Easter comes a week after everyone else’s (the same with their Christmas too, which is celebrated on January 7th). This is because they follow the Russian Orthodox religion, rather than Christianity or Catholicism. Around about this time, my grandma, or ‘Babushka’, has brought over special egg dye and wraps – sounds weird, but bear with me! My mum and I fill little bowls with vinegar, mixed with the powdered egg dye to create four or five different colours. We cover boiled eggs in the dye, and once they’re coloured enough and dry, we wrap little plastic sleeves around them and dip them in boiling water (using a ladle – safety first!) to seal them. They’re not quite as extravagant as the ones pictured below, but it’s just as fun! You can do this using any paint if you feel like having a go – just make sure you use boiled eggs, so they last as decorations for a couple of extra days.
This year I may not have decorated eggs, but I did help my dad out with some renovation. It was a pretty productive week, with a sprinkling of uni work here and there, but I had a couple of days of not doing anything at all. If you did too, that’s okay! There’s nothing wrong with that. When we know we have work to do and spend the day not doing it, we can feel guilty. Well, don’t! It is completely okay to take time for yourself – we very rarely have a chance to put a pause on life and take a breath. Well, use this pandemic as an opportunity to do that and just have a reset. You might even find a refreshed mind can make uni work that little bit easier.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Isolation is impacting us all in different ways, and yes, it is hard and strange. But remember that this isn’t forever, and we’re all in this together.
Once again, Happy Easter! And continue to stay safe.