I had a brief moment of guilt this long weekend when I kept thinking: “I should be blogging. I should be blogging”. But it passed quickly enough, because I realised that by staying away from the screen, I was refilling the well, as I’ve written about before. I’ve been working really hard in my day job recently and once again, this is an example of how days and days of creating a whole lot of fresh content can really take it out of you. Creating is exhilarating but also exhausting! And I needed this time for my creative resources to refresh and refill, before I could squeeze anything new out once again.
But here I am! Because this weekend was full of days spent pottering around our new home. Raking up leaves and making roasts. Lying on the trampoline staring up at the stars. When last did you do that? Sadly it’s been years for me. Because as I lay there looking up at the inky sky I shouted to my husband, “They’re flashing! The stars are flashing!”. And he said “Do you mean twinkling? You DO know that stars twinkle right?”. And then I realised that OF COURSE I DID but I had (momentarily) completely forgotten the normal activity of stars.
This seems like a metaphor really, for how far removed we’ve become from nature, as we tap behind our laptop keyboards and phone screens. As we race around in our cars from work to school. The stars are above us every single night, but we scarcely see them.
Anyway, I plan to see them more.
This weekend was also Easter, which besides being one of the most important periods in the Christian calendar, is also traditionally a sugar feast filled with chocolate eggs (I haven’t eaten a single one – not my thing!), and hot cross buns (the chocolate ones from Woolies toasted and slathered in butter ONLY), and various other traditions and meals.
For our egg hunt this Sunday with the kids, I walked past a kiosk at Woolies (NOT SPONSORED) where they were printing these super cute personalised silver bunny bags, so I ordered two of them (they then printed ‘Banjamin’ instead of ‘Benjamin’, but were very quick to sort it out).
On the Saturday evening we had about 20 people over for dinner and then of course when it came to hiding the eggs after (some) wine before we went to bed, I thought it would be nice if my husband and his four mates hid them, instead of me.
Well they went out with torches and much hilarity, and although I followed for a bit and tried to remember where all of the eggs got hidden, I’m 96% sure that we didn’t locate every single one the next morning (counting them first would have been a smart idea). We did eventually find a lost one under a bush, but a rat/mouse/squirrel had sunk its tiny sharp teeth into the chocolate bunny’s ears and it was too gross for me to contemplate my kid gnawing on the same chocolate as a rodent, so we chucked that one away and I had to find a replacement before more tears ensued.
Besides chocolate, I was really keen for my kids to have fun without sugar as the only entertainment, so it was awesome timing to have been sent some Hatchimals products as gifts to review (there are apparently 100 different ones in Season 2 to collect).
We got sent a 2-pack with nest (worth R249) and a 12 pack egg carton worth R499. The eggs are such fun as you have to warm them up between your hands and then crack them open to reveal the creatures inside. The kids loved discovering what was inside like brightly coloured hedgehogs, owls, squirrels, puppies and dragons etc.
They’ve played with them this weekend, taking them in and out of their nests and fighting over whose is whose (of course, because siblings). You can get Hatchimals at Hamley’s, Toy Kingdom, ToyZone, Toys R Us, Takealot and Toy Adventures. And you can find out more at the Just Fun Kidz website or on their Instagram profile.
What else did we do this weekend? I made the most simple, delicious and impressive chocolate fridge tart from an old issue of Fresh Living mag. I love desserts you can make the day before. Also, I’m quite fussy with desserts. They must basically be made of good chocolate and not much else, which is what this one is all about. You melt almost three slabs of dark chocolate, throw in some nuts, some choc biscuits, a sprinkle of cinnamon, some dried cranberries + a bit of condensed milk and it’s ready to go in the fridge. Top it with fresh raspberries and some mini eggs (so it looks Easterish), and Bob’s your Uncle.
I also took some time out to go to Sweat1000 on Friday and then yoga on Monday, because BALANCE.
I’m so chuffed with the progress I’ve made in yoga over the past year or so. I used to try and do a forward bend and be so far from touching my toes that I felt useless. Now I can straighten my legs and touch the floor with ease! I’m super glad to have finally found yoga now, and I can’t believe I thought it was reserved for bendy millenials only. It makes me happier and calmer and if I don’t do it for a few weeks, my body and mind can feel it. We spend so long each day tied into knots in front of our computers, that I really think a form of exercise like this is essential to prevent mental burnout and physical injuries, especially if you have a weak back, like I do.
On the note of fitness and exercise, we also walked up to watch the incredible runners in the 2 Oceans Marathon. What a vibe! I’ve never been a long distance runner and so I’ve always written off doing even a half marathon. But classifying myself as “not a runner” is maybe not fair to myself, as I feel like I’m missing out on something many people love doing. I’m relatively fit and I’m sure with a bit of training, I could complete a 21km. I just have to be very careful as my husband ran a half marathon and then ended up having back surgery quite soon afterwards. I don’t want that to be me.
But there was something special about cheering on the runners this weekend. A certain acknowledgement of our shared humanity, between strangers, which is not a common occurrence. My kids and I would shout, “only 4km to go!” as the ultra runners passed us, encouraging them, shouting their names (it’s written on their shirts!), telling them how strong they were looking. Many would make eye contact with me, thank me with their smiles or their words, and continue, onward to the finish line, demonstrating how resilient us humans can be – especially when we are tested.
So that was this weekend. Proving that you don’t have to leave home to learn anything, or see the world with new eyes.
I hope you also had revitalising long weekends, filled with faith, family or friends – whatever your choosing.
P.S. The Hatchimals were sent to me for free, for review and publicity purposes.