With Easter holidays round the corner, memories of Easter egg hunts, decorating eggs and a beautiful spring in London come rushing back to my mind.
We lived in London at that time and I was gearing up for the two week long Easter break at school. Not that I was dreading the holidays, in fact I love the break from routine that holidays provide so that we can try out new things, see new places, just do something different. So I started working upon my list of to-do things and to-see places in London - parks, museums, farms, zoo, I soon had a long list prepared. For the first three days of the holiday, I engaged my elder son in a football camp at his school and thought of just exploring my neighbourhood with my younger one. He loved scooting around and I was happy to get some exercise. Just a few blocks away, we happened to come across an Easter extravaganza organised by our local community. For two pounds per head, we walked in and took part in an Easter egg hunt which got my little one all excited as he started to run around the bushes looking for small chocolate Easter eggs and collecting them in his basket. Besides the chocolates that he could keep, he was also eligible for a reward
at the end of the hunt! This was followed by a face painting and an arts and craft activity organised by some mums where my son was kept busy, giving me some much-needed time to relax by myself. The other attraction was a magic show by this clown who kept us both in splits! There was also a small food and drink stall and for the the rest of the afternoon, we sat in the grass and enjoyed our little picnic. An afternoon that did not require any planning, cost almost nothing, involved zero travelling and
one that I am not going to forget in a very long time!
|A magic show I truly enjoyed|
Now along with the excitement of Easter, there was another kind of buzz in the environment. The arrival of Spring! Having lived in Mumbai all my life where summer and monsoon were pretty much the dominating seasons along with a little bit of winter, I wasn't sure what to expect but was definitely looking forward to experiencing my very first Spring in London and I was definitely not disappointed!
|A clear, blue sky on a sunny day|
One day in early April as I crossed the park which I normally do to reach home, I couldn't help sensing something different in the air. I continued walking till a jet plane attracted my attention to the sky. It looked beautiful as the tiny speck of a plane left a trail of white in contrast to the light blue sky. That's also when I suddenly happened to notice the first signs of life on the barren trees in the park. I had seen these trees barren ever since we moved to London in early November, except maybe the snow that would sometimes get collected on the branches. But today I could see something different. Tiny blossoms of pink and white sprouting out on each of the branches. Then out of nowhere I saw a bird fly out, then two, then a whole flock chirping and flying into the clear, blue canvas. It was a nice sunny day and though it was still quite nippy, I don't know why I just felt very light and happy. As if the blossoms and the birds were heralding happier times to come. Within a few weeks my world changed from a dull black, grey and white to red, pink, purple, yellow and all other colours and combinations. I saw rows and rows of pansies, azaleas, begonias, camellias (I had to get educated in these names first!)
planted in pretty pots outside window sills. What's more I had my first gardening experience (thanks to my Aunt who first taught me the basics)
planting some of these pretty flowers in pots on my window sill! Suddenly there were flowers everywhere, even the streets had these huge hanging pots growing them adding to the beautiful scenery. The weather was getting warmer too and a very happy me started putting away the thicker jackets and coats for next winter! I started taking advantage of this change in season, walking everywhere instead of taking the car, capturing these beautiful images in my newly gifted Canon SLR D550 and sharing them with family and friends back home in India. Yes, Spring was definitely here!
|John Innes Park, Wimbledon|
|Isabella plantation in Richmond Park|
The neighbourhood boutiques were full of 'New Spring Arrivals' as they got rid of their old, winter stock at discounted prices. Salons and spa centres did quick business with their trendy hairstyles and hand and foot treatments now that we could keep our heads, hands and feet relatively cover-free! I learnt what the term 'spring cleaning' actually meant as I thoroughly cleaned my wardrobes and my house, getting rid of the musky dampness and letting the warm sun invade every corner possible. Not to forget all these activities were carried out with a spring
in my step!