I’m getting quite keen on embedding video in blog posts. So, today, we have an odd little film about Day-z.
I called her and then started filming. She came to me then turned straight back to Mirinda when she realised I wasn’t serious. The thing is, Mirinda had a bowl of cereal. Day-z is quite committed to bowls of cereal. A little later in the day, following study and gardening, she watched me intently from Mirinda’s knee.
I’m not sure what she was expecting but she didn’t get it.
It was Good Friday today. Everything was open in Farnham (albeit some establishments opened later than usual) so it was just like any other day. This is quite good for an atheist. Easter Sunday, on the other hand, is going to be a right pain because everything will be closed. This means I have to plan food a day ahead. This is not something I enjoy.
And there was a lot of religious hoo ha on the radio. Radio 4 seemed to highlight Jesus every time I turned it on and then, in the afternoon while I was gardening, and before I fell asleep in the sun listening to the football, I switched to Radio 4 Extra and what was on? The bloody Life of Jesus! And so I put the football on (Crystal Palace and…someone else) and then fell asleep it was so interesting. Naturally I’m blaming Radio 4 for not finishing in the garden.
Talking of religious appropriation…today I went looking for a simnel cake. I’d never heard of them but Mirinda had some during the week and loved it. I was despatched to find some. I didn’t and so I’m going to make one tomorrow but that’s not the point. It seems that simnel cake has become yet another symbol of Easter.
Originally made in Medieval times, young girls in service would bake a simnel cake for their mothers and take it to them on Mothering Sunday. Since appropriation, eleven little balls of marzipan have been added to the top. These represent the eleven apostles, Judas being left out because he was a little too interested in money. Actually I’ve never been convinced with Judas committing suicide. It seems very unlikely and highly suspicious.
No-one knows why the simnel cake is called a simnel cake. The best anyone can come up with is that it derives from the Latin word simila, meaning fine, wheaten flour which was used in making it. Why the church decided to steal the idea and make it their own is anyone’s guess but it probably involves treachery and an attempt at boosting attendance with a familiar symbol.
Speaking of Easter traditions…I listened, agape (one of the guys Mirinda works with is a total gaper and I just love the idea) the other day while one of the girls in Starbucks related for us the Czech version of Easter. Apparently (and I’ve verified it elsewhere) the boys in her village would go around with these light whips and try and whip the girls legs in exchange for chocolate (it was eggs originally but, understandably, people prefer chocolate now). It was seen as an indication of how gorgeous you were if a lot of boys whipped you a lot. However, the biggest and bestest was if they grabbed you and threw you in the river. Nice.
Now the rabbits I understand when it comes to Easter. It is, after all, a festival time to celebrate the renewal that arrives with spring. For some reason, rabbits popping out and nibbling away at the new growth is a strong springtime image. And eggs as well. Obviously the result of springtime friskiness by the birds. A lot of countries have eggs as Easter symbols.
But why did they become chocolate? When was it considered a good thing to introduce confection to both the Rite of Spring and the Death of Jesus? I love chocolate as much as any other normal person but really…I don’t see it. Was it a fiendish piece of marketing genius by Cadbury’s back in Victorian times? I could probably find out by Googling “why do we have chocolate eggs at Easter” but I’m not going to. I like to think it’s a big conspiracy by the capitalist overlords, perpetrated on the poor and weak. That’s more fun.
I’m just going to finish with this delightfully affectionate photograph of me hugging Carmen. She is clearly enjoying it a LOT!