An Easter message

Easter is a time of bizarre contrast. On the one hand, there is the religious ceremony attached to the most holy day of the Christian year, and on the other we have chocolate eggs or Easter bunnies.

While Anglican churches are packed for Christmas, because everyone likes to sing carols and Christmas is feel good factor, Easter is different and to me, a totally different religious festival.

I wouldn’t have known it was The Biggest Day of the Christian year, had my mother – who quite liked religion – not informed me.

I’ve done my bit in the past for Easter though. One year, we were staying in the caravan and decided to go to a nearby minster for Easter Sunday.

Howden is quite spectacular – link to lots of images, rather than choosing one or going through the attribution and all that.

Given that my mother had stopped going to church after she got married, my father was Methodist and really didn’t give two hoots about it, and I was agnostic/atheist, I have no idea why we went.

Anyway, we arrived in Howden early and mummy and daddy decided to do something and I cleared off on my own, agreeing to meet up at the minster.

I spent a long time looking in the windows of the book shop, the posh clothes shop, and anything else that took my interest. There wasn’t too much to do, given that it was a Sunday. I rushed back to church and discovered it was serious procession time being led by the bishop.

Not sure whether I preceded the episcopal procession or followed in the rear but I made rather more of an impact than I intended. I was of course, dressed in the wrong colours. Purple would have been fine for the previous week but by Easter Sunday it was past its sell-by date and I should have been dressed in white and gold.

I’ve never been to church at Easter again.

But at a time when the Christian part of the world is celebrating, well, whatever it is they do celebrate, the resurrection? rebirth of life? if that happens to be your religion, I think it should be treated as a solemn and meaningful period. Eggs and bunnies seem to trivialise it to me.

As I’m not religious, I’d like to look at something different. Although there may be a parallel with the life of Jesus.

Because I don’t really think he was into consumerism.

Here is an interesting post.

I’m not going to do a clever religious analysis basically, because, I just don’t believe in Jesus.

However, following on from the idea that he was egalitarian and wanted people to look after each other, would he really have wanted to see this greedy grasping avaricious aggressive society?

That is, basically, trying to push everyone else down and climb higher up the ladder and shag the planet in the arse we live on as well? Who cares about global warming (it’s not true, it’s not really happening). Or, if it is happening, we can use it to raise taxes and legislate rather than do anything constructive. Who cares about wars and daily abuse of people and animals? Who cares about extinction of animals and environment?

Never captured better than by the Aussie band Redgum. It doesn’t matter to me.

But if looking after your world does matter, and you want to do something, for example don’t keep buying a new iPhone/iPad because the last one is now out of date. Do you really need new software or new computers all the time if yours works perfectly well? [Insert other electrical goods, cars, clothes, furniture etc]

The forager found a few treats recently.

First up, a bread bin, kindly thrown out in its box. As we get food moths here in summer this was a valuable acquisition.

Breadbin, came nicely packaged in its box too
Breadbin, came nicely packaged in its box too

Next, a toilet roll holder. Actually he thought it was a towel rail thing, but we finally worked out what it was. I quite like this and saves toilet rolls getting wet when I throw water all over the sink which is where they previously lived on the marble top.

On a roll
On a roll

Some wood. Hmm, who would be interested in some scrap MDF? Partner. Some of our residents had pointed out there was a hole in the downstairs wall of the corridor with live wires and it was both unsightly and hazardous. Box made up quickly at low cost to our block and fitted into place.

The black box reveals all
The black box reveals all

A rather tidy paint scuttle that was sitting outside the block. Perfect for a professional painter.

He had to try it out - so we have a gleaming white sitting room now
He had to try it out – so we have a gleaming white sitting room now

How about some extension lead from a redundant vacuum cleaner?

Or some poles/handles for sweeping brushes or mops?

A couple of radio CD/cassette recorders.

And today a wooden blind. Not that we need a wooden blind, but he is incapable of leaving something that looks useful. Looks like someone had yanked on the string too hard, and couldn’t fix it, but with a little attention from He Of The Golden Touch, it is ready to go up. Just need to decide which window. Kitchen or bedroom?

Always look on the blind side of life
Always look on the blind side of life

Not much in the scheme of things but they were all serviceable so why not take them?

One day, he was looking out of the window.

‘Look at that, Spaniards are as bad as Moroccans, always raiding the bins.’

What he really meant was: ‘Shit, someone else has got there before me.’

But to be serious, I would never ever have taken cast-off second-hand goods. I didn’t need to. I had enough money. I didn’t need to accept charity, because that’s how I was taught to think.

Now, I advertise anything I can’t use on Freecycle, I’ve even sold a couple of things via Friday Ads, and I have an expert scavenger forager. Unless he is beaten to it by the Spaniards or the Moroccans of course.

So my very simple Easter message in a world of ever-decreasing natural resources, greed, and consumption, is please – consume less. If you have anything you don’t want, try to give it away if you can’t sell it.

In the spirit of generosity, last Christmas, I bought a flowering cactus for my neighbour. But it looked rather sorry for itself so I decided to leave it in the flat and see if it flowered. It never did. (Top tip, don’t buy plants from Eroski in Gib). I had visions of this miserable plant fading away miserably in her house and getting thrown out.

So although it had flower buds at Christmas they just died off. Now, for Easter, it is coming into bloom, courtesy of the Cactus Loving Partner. In Spanish, Pascua can refer to either Christmas or Easter. So I reckon this wasn’t a Christmas cactus after all, it was an Easter one.

I don't need a calendar, I'm an Easter cactus
I don’t need a calendar, I’m an Easter cactus

What I love about Easter cacti, is that they know without looking at calendars exactly when Easter falls. Which just goes to prove that the spring equinox, full moons and seasonal cycles are more important than dates.

Apparently back in 1928, the UK passed the Easter Act which allowed for setting Easter as a fixed date, ie the second week in April. I like changeable dates. And as the whole point of Easter is to commemorate rebirth and new life, it seems appropriate that it should be in tune with our natural environment that we rely on for our very survival.

And if my little cactus didn’t quite bloom on Easter Sunday, it has the next fifty days of Eastertide in which to flower.

If you celebrate either Easter or Passover, hope you enjoyed it. If you don’t celebrate either, hope you enjoyed the holiday.

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59 comments on “An Easter message

  1. I think most people are simply hell bent on survival at the moment. I suspect if we don’t change voluntarily we will have it thrust upon us. Man has an incredible survival instinct and a strong capacity to reinvent himself (the preceding is intended to include the female of the species of course – this is an equal opportunities comment) but we are definitely testing the limits this time. I shall return to the bosom of the church when it finds a sense of humour, shows The Life of Brian every Easter and finishes up with a rousing chorus of Always Look on the Bright (or Blind) Side of Life. In the meantime I shall look longingly at the chocolate Easter eggs and wish I could afford just one more wafer thin mint.

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    • Yes. Need to eat, have shelter, and warmth. The triangle. Belonging to Maslow.

      Of course, had you been thinking, you could have said people have a capacity etc etc. But as you are male I realise you also have the innate capacity to fuck it up. That’s men for you.

      I love to visit churches. Religion has inspired some great works and some great wars. I’m not sure what it has done for people though if you do the CBA.

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  2. Interesting, I was always taught that the celebration was Jesus dying for our sins on the Friday, however impausible that story might be. That might just be the Catholic take on things.

    As you know we differ only slightly in our consumerist tendencies, I tend to buy new and keep until broken, which is why I have a 50 year old heating system, 35 yr old refridgerator with washing machine, tumble dryer and freezer all in their 20s.

    Definitely get a new freezer when I move, apparently they defrost themselves these days!!!

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    • What I could never understand with the story about Jesus (well most of the stories to be honest) was how he died on Friday and rose again on the third day. I am sure some bright spark will enlighten me as to why Friday to Saturday, and then Saturday to Sunday is three days, but as far as my adding up goes, it is two days. But there you go, religion for you.

      My fridge matches yours. My tumble dryer, sadly lingering and no longer used, because hanging out is so much cheaper, is similar vintage, and the freezer packed up so we do without. As our fridgefreezer is combined, or rather fridgenonfreezer we won’t be buying until the fridge packs up.

      Given our sins these days, poor old Jesus would be redying far too many times.

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  3. I wrote this in 2008 – I think it was on AOL blogger, now long since gone:
    The timing of Easter seems somewhat confusing because it is termed a moveable feast that is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar as for instance is Christmas Day or my Birthday. Easter falls at some point in a thirty-five day period sometime between late March and late April each year and the exact date is determined by the cycle of the moon. After several centuries of disagreement, and prompted by the Roman Emperor Constantine in the year 325 to sort things out, all churches accepted the basis of the Alexandrian Church that Easter is the first Sunday after the first fourteenth day of the Paschal Full Moon that is on or after the ecclesiastical vernal equinox. To you and me this is the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox which is that moment in time when the centre of the Sun can be observed to be directly above the equator. This year Easter (2008) was uncommonly premature and this is the earliest since 1913 and it won’t be this early again until 2228 in two hundred and twenty years time.
    I know that you knew that already!
    I like the scavenging. In between 2000 and 2006 I shared a house with a friend who worked at the refuse depot and we had a house full of useful old discards from furniture to cooking utensils! I haven’t got them any more – Kim cleared them out!

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    • Didn’t know AOL had a blog thing, but I’ve never done AOL anyway.

      Actually I did know most of that :D

      Did you know the world council of churches tried to synchronise all the easter dates back in 2001 but it never happened?

      Hmm, taking everything to the tip and it was reclaimed happily by the tip staff. I remember that. Oops, not tip, I meant to write refuse depot.

      Scavenging is hellish cheap, well free. If you lack income, then it is the way to go. Personally I think it is rather elite. It could become the new snobbery syndrome. Darling, look what I found at the dusbtin today. Oh, but look what I found, etc

      Except, you have to be up at 5am these days to find anything :D

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    • Getting a bit clever aren’t you? It’s a bank holiday! I’ve always thought the theory of Jesus being a pseudo communist was one of the more interesting aspects, and slightly more plausible than being born of a virgin mother, a shitload of people arriving at a stable, and feeding loads of people out of a few fish and bread (eg your post about that one).

      Seems to me he was just a hippy before his time. Shame really.

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  4. Greed, seems to be the one major driving force in the western world. Nobody gives a rats ass about our environment, the threatened species or anything as long as we can ride our cars and EAT ourselves into morbid obesity.

    I learnt a word here — or rather; I just hadn’t thought about it before: “minster”. When I looked it up, it dawned on me ‘Westerminster’ …

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    • Westminster? As in House of Commons/Lords UK Parliament? But yes a minster, is a UK church of a higher level, a bit like an abbey and often part of a monastery in olden days. So therefore has a different status to a local parish church.

      I do worry about our greed as a species, and our desire for status, consumption, living for the moment without regarding the cost – environmental not financial.

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  5. i had a lovely Easter, thanks, still shut-off from the outside world by drifts that stubbornly refuse to melt, and so unable to get to church. Being a meanie, i never buy Easter eggs or, perish the thought, chocolate bunnies, and the commercial side of Easter always passes me by. i even made my own hot cross buns this year. ;-)

    As for the snapping up of unconsidered trifles, your Partner and my DH are obviously cut from the same cloth. DH scavenges shamelessly in skips, even in posh places like north Oxford, and has a huge barn full of stuff that may come in useful one day. We run our cars into the ground and our consumer durables likewise and my ancient mobile phone is for emergency use only. Need I continue….?

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    • I thought about you when I was writing this post as I figured you would be one of the people to whom Easter would mean something very special. And not in the chocolate bunny sense.

      You don’t need to get to church though do you, to be able to celebrate something important in your life?

      Just because I’m not religious doesn’t mean I don’t respect other people’s choice of belief, whichever it is, although it can get a bit difficult here keeping up with Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Gib is predominantly Catholic, but I live in the Jewish Quarter with lots of Moroccans nearby …

      I used to like Hot Cross Buns. Not so much the heavy glaze, but the spiciness and dried fruit was yum. There was a local bakery near us that made very light ones with minimal glaze so they were quite delicious come Easter.

      For me the scavenging has come with age. I think his came from a poor (ie financially poor) upbringing. I would never take all the things he does, but I do now look and say, mmm, is that of any use? I’ve totally lost the sense of shame with picking something up, I blame that on Spain where there is serious status attached with being first to grab something for free!

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  6. We just kept close to the house yesterday. So many crazy tourists on the local roads (despite there was a big golf tournament, soccer game, baseball season opening – all in town) Growing up we rarely went to church on holidays – dad said they needed room for the ones who weren’t there the rest of the year. We just went to the wood/farm and saw real bunnies and eggs.
    We did put in desperately needed recessed light over the end of the kitchen counter – and replace a foolish glass and gold horrid light fixture in the “foyer” area…we have all these leftover light pieces from previous houses that we redid – they are cluttering up the place so we’re using them up. Today will be trying to get sheetrock dust off of everything.
    Molly and I look at the trash piles when we walk – sometimes there’s stuff that perfectly good – we drag stuff home to either use or find a home for. Just wasteful when there are those that would be happy to have it….couldn’t carry that big outdoor round pottery patio fire thing – and it was gone when we went back! Molly probably would have knocked it over and broken it anyway…besides it’s going to be to hot for it.
    Last week was the big week for holidays: meant to send you picture of the Festival of Colors – the India’s version of spring colors – but on white clothes rather than eggs. It looked pretty crazy this year….and then there was the annual “Bunnies on the Bayou” which is a big cocktail party outdoors put on to raise money for the annual gay pride parade. Things are always hopping around here – something for everyone ( sure the big churches did not let their kids go see the bunnies on the bayou – what outfits!)
    Happy April – no fooling!

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    • Gib is usually pretty quite at weekends although I was surprised at the number of people out on Saturday when I went out for the third (?) time in the morning.

      Our church visits were sporadic. While I didn’t believe in it, I did like the occasion and the atmosphere. So for that, Easter was very special. Forgot all about it on Sunday. Partner decided to paint the sitting room so I was the apprentice to sweep up and wash out. Sounds a bit like your Easter.

      That pottery patio thing sounds wonderful. We would have taken that. These days, Partner and Pippa go out and five minutes later he comes back inside with an acquisition and then goes out for the walk all over again, knowing that if he didn’t snap it up, it would be gone.

      Maybe you’ll be posting some colourful pix over on yours, so I’ll check it out.

      Spent too many years in journalism with spoof April Fool stories to bother about them on here. But, where is the year going? Already April?

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  7. The great big cultural mess that we now know as Easter seems to include just about everyone’s spring traditions along with the various christian beliefs so it comes out as a lovely buffet replete with eggs, chocolate and just about everything else. Increasingly, it seems, people also use this as another occasion to shower one another with yet another load of gifts. Take what you want! Making sense of it all no longer interests me. I just try to get through enjoying what hours I can with friends and family. Mostly managed to do that too :>) It’s still a good time for new starts, eh?

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    • That’s a good description of what Easter appears to be now. While I dislike the Big(patriarchal) Three, I do think taking important religious festivals to the altar of Mammon is not good. And sadly, Christianity does it big style.

      But if we can all take out some personal time, space, reflection, that’s good enough for me. My new starts have always been in autumn, but that has been linked with the academic year. Still haven’t got over thinking Sept/Oct, time to get on and start all over again.

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      • Now to the second theme. Preservation of what you have. We do seem to have built quite a throw-away society these last 100 years, haven’t we. I could not agree more with your idea that we should pay more attention to reusing the things we have. Here in my place, it seems that my culture is in the process of doing a complete about face from one that values the past. Just this morning I used an image from my past as part of a reply to Dave at Pairodox farm (pairodox.wordpress.com). Here’s the image: http://imgur.com/tF7OgIw It shows one of the sheep we had way back when we lived on my Dad’s ancestral home and that image and those values have been on my mind all day. Basically everything in that picure was made from something else and was siubsequently mand into something. The house was built by my great GF around 150 years ago and some of the wood came from his GF’s. Dad sold that house in 1960 and it was taken down and ALL the wood was used to make another. I sometimes joke with friends that it’s useless trying to do archaeology here as none of us ever left anything behind that was usable; we used and reused everything until nothing was left of it. Sadly–that’s nowhere near the truth anymore. My society is becoming as big a trash maker as any other. I know my ancestors are not pleased.

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        • That’s a class photo. How old is it? I’m loving those chickens too. They look huge. No plastic windows, a water butt, far too much snow, and livestock just wandering around.

          I’m thinking that reuse and conservation and lack of consumerism, or at least making best use of what is available is an age thing. Everyone who comments on my blogs about it is of a similar age. And yet, I know people of a similar age, who just buy new and more and want to keep up with the latest brightest shiniest.

          Is it lack of money or ethics or a combination of the two that makes people re-use materials? I no longer know. I have always recycled, but at a distance. I wanted to see recycling bins for someone else to do the work for me. Now I’ve learned to do it for myself. Sometimes there is only so much recycling you can do. When you have patched up overalls so many times and they just rip elsewhere, you have to bite the bullet and chop them up to use for patches for a better pair of overalls.

          Why do people need incredibly fast cars with air con and electrickery? Why do dogs need jewelled collars? Why change your computer for a slightly more up-to-date model or your television for an extra inch? What difference does it make to your life?

          I’m just a grumpy old woman I guess.

          Maybe in 20 or 30 years time, all the people buying and using up the world’s resources will be thinking like me. And wondering why the younger people are so obsessed with spending and wasting. Or maybe not.

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  8. The only time I ever attended church was with the Brownies/Guides and friends weddings, though I do like to hear the hymns being sung.
    What an assortment of bargains you’ve acquired, and all put to good use.
    The only things I’ve found recently was a wad of dog poo bags which must have fallen from someone’s pocket, but waste not want not, I’ve since put them to good use :-)
    Is there a difference between an Easter and a Christmas cactus, your Easter one looks exactly like the Christmas one I used to have.
    Some interesting facts there about Easter, from yourself and AP, I never knew why the dates varied. Though I’m still confused over why something that is supposed to have happened is commemorated on a different date each year. Surely if it did actually happen, that date would have been written in stone.

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    • Oh you were a Brownie! I’m jealous. I so wanted to be a Brownie and wear the uniform on Tuesdays at school. One of my life’s major disappointments not being a Brownie. And as for a Girl Guide???? Sweet dreams would be made of that.

      We went to church as a sort of social event. Go to church on Sunday evening or lunchtime, followed by a couple of beers. Pretty much like all the Catholics did really. The pub next to the Catholic church in Dewsbury was heaving at 1 minute past 12.

      I’m not into taking something for the sake of it, but A can usually find a use for anything :D

      I’ve written before about bags, we tend to pick up the stray ones that cigarette smugglers have discarded. Fags come in black bags and are a bit of a giveaway going across the frontier so people helpfully throw them away in the street.

      I don’t know about the cacti. I’ve got one in Spain too that I think is an Easter one, but I thought I had a Christmas one in the UK. My Spanish one is outside, so maybe that would lead it to flower in Easter, and I reckon this one was force-fed or whatever you call plants reared in hot houses, and wasn’t ready to bloom naturally.

      There’s a load of reasons about Easter dates. Not helped by the Gregorian and Julian calendars (Western and Eastern Christian Churches). Add the original link with Jewish Passover and you have a real recipe for confusion. Put simply though, it’s linked with the moon. So therefore it changes. I don’t know why it’s linked with the moon but I suppose I could look it up. I think I may have read it but it flitted over the periphery of my horizon.

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      • I do’t know why, but I would have thought you’d have been a Brownie. I got an armful of badges too, my most prized was animal lover and gardening, I grew an orange tree from a pip for my gardening badge :-)

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        • It was age related at school. You needed to be one upper or something (that was the class name). The year I got there the bloody brownie teacher pissed off so it all stopped :(

          I was desperate to be a Brownie! Stop making me jealous.

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  9. Our world is so full of strange contradictions, isn’t it? I’m quite sure the God who put it into place would rather we had looked after it properly, and have found ways to look after each other properly as well, by now… :(

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    • Thanks Y. The idea of leading a simple non-consumerist life in keeping with our environment seemed to fit neatly with Easter, so it fell into place. I don’t know why you think my commenters are more educated, and even if they are, why it matters. Like you, I have people from all over the place. People sometimes write long comments, but that happens on your blog as well. Or they write something totally different. It’s all fine by me.

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      • Thank you. You are quite nice to write that (make me feel at ease). Yes it was and is a really good post. I agree with all that you write. People are buying and discarding like they are all so rich but that is not the case Most of them are deep in debt and want to impress. But some do have money but that is no reason to ‘chew up the universe.” I feel that way when anything is purchased that truly is not a needed item.

        And you can call me “Y” anytime. I sort of like the sound. Some people at work used “y” as my name or it was simply Von. Sometimes Avon.

        ~yvonne~

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        • Other people have said they don’t always comment, or hesitated before they did. I’m sorry about that, because my blog is definitely not intended to be exclusive. I originally set it up to try and help share my experiences of moving from the UK to Spain so that other people didn’t make the same mistakes and they could learn from the ones I made.

          It’s changed hugely over six years, but there you go. Life changes. What I don’t like on my blogs is anything that smacks of racism, sexism, homophobia, or anywhere near lack of respect for animals. If people write something like that, I’ll argue back. And I have done. If people choose to return, fine, they will be welcome. If they choose not to, that’s up to them. Some do, some don’t. My values are the ones I have in my life and they are the same on my blog.

          I’m not religious but some of my readers are. I don’t have a problem with acknowledging Easter or Passover, and hoping people enjoy their own religious special time. For non-religious people like me, it seemed appropriate to ask people to think, and to give a secular message that resounded with the basic tenets of Christianity.

          If you want me to call you Yvonne, that’s fine. I just happen to be a lazy typist, so Y suits. So others get similar abbreviations. I certainly don’t expect anyone to type out roughseasinthemed. Even I don’t do it. I like the sound of Y. Don’t know why. (haha don’t know Y).

          I’ve been up since half five/six so am probably as sleepy as you. I need to go back to sleep :D

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          • Well I had a reply going but it went away. Dang it. I will expound sometiome today. I am a huge recycler. I have the largest bin I can get from the city. Paper, cardboard, plastic, tin cans. The bin is full every two weeks. My son adds his things to the bin each week, as well. I will grab from a dumpster but most people put out discards by the curb. I don’t walk about the neighborhood which is a snooty one. Sometimes there is something to pick up but rarely.. I wear used clothing. I do buy good clogs for that is what my feet demand. Can not wear cheap shoes. They hurt my feet. But my clogs last 2-3 years. I am moving in and out of the house all day long. Born and Clarks brands are what I wear. Terrain in my yard is rough in places with lots of gravel in the back. I can not wear flip flops. Been there and have sprained ankles as a result.of the cheap shoes. Still have a bum foot when I had house shoes on and jumped off two steps to the ground. Have to be careful and don’t want to break bones. I am old you know. :-)

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          • always do your replies in a text edit or whatever your windows version is called

            then copy and post

            unless you are saying supah dahling, because otherwise you can lose your comment

            I never did go back to bed, so I am a tired roughy right now, wearing slip slops, I mean flip flops. so I will shut up. We’re all old.

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  10. Once again I am enlightened after reading your post and the comments but I feel a bit “blonde” because just last week I commented to the G.O. about the lovely full moon and how it always seemed to occur for our drive to Taylors Arm at Easter! I will share my new knowledge with him later.
    Easter is many things to many people… ubiquitous chocolate – in the spirit of the occasion I ate one of the 5 tiny Lindt bunnies I bought for the G.O. but yuck not my taste at all, a long weekend – the traffic coming back yesterday was horrendous. For us it was about having a break – we cleaned, gardened and relaxed. I was quite puzzled on Good Friday as the local pub was open, with a band in the afternoon and the usual Friday night raffles. I must have been in a time warp, as I didn’t think pubs opened on Good Friday let alone ran meat raffles…
    On Sunday we considered going to church but rather the G.O. went off for a ride on his motorbike and a cup of tea with his mum. I pottered around the garden and listened to the singing coming from the church.
    Great freebie finds. I love stuff that comes to those of us who are open to it. Retail just doesn’t give me that buzz. I wish it didn’t fill so many gaps for so many people but on the other hand, they’d then have nothing to chuck out… I have an Easter post to be cobbled together that features a couple of new freebies.
    Your Christmas-Easter cactus is lovely :) And I can envision an Easter campaign… “it matters to me” :)

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    • Laughing about your moon comment. I should have done a link about how easter is set by the moon, but if you look at wiki for easter it gives the whole boring story at extreme length about lunar cycles and blah yawn fall asleep.

      I never really liked chocolate that much but I was hugely over-induged as a child at Easter with a huge fireplace full of them when I woke up in the morning. Sort of like Christmas presents all over the place.

      As I grew older I tended to buy Lindt large eggs. But the comparative price of the chocolate is ridiculous compared with exactly the same normal chocolate.

      Isn’t the traffic the worst thing about a BH weekend? I remember driving back into London sometimes. Absolute nightmare. Sydney must be the same.

      I thought pubs opened 24 hours a day 365 days of the year these days, but as I don’t go, I can’t really say.

      Looking forward to your post, glad you chilled out.

      I think people are brainwashed conditioned to shop. They need to be conditioned to think. I wish.

      I like your campaign idea. Because it actually does matter to me or I wouldn’t keep banging on about it.

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      • I just stumbled upon an article that enlightens, at least for me also not being a regular pub goer “NSW has strict laws on alcohol sales on Xmas and Good Friday, which boil down to the following: absolutely no takeaway alcohol (“in any circumstances”, to be even more brutally disheartening, if you were planning on bringing an adorable kitten to help you negotiate), and licensed venues can only serve on premises from midday-10pm. So, in other words, bottleshops are closed, but pubs are open.” I think it’s [still] bothering me as akin to over-consumerism from a retail point of view, I wonder if we need this much access to pubs. In Sydney we never go to the pub to just drink. When we do go, which isn’t that often, we go for a meal and have a drink with it. At TA even though we are 4 houses away from the pub we only go very occasionally as a social thing.

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        • Why ban bottle shops and not pubs? Bizarre. Must be historic. I thought the idea of opening pubs for longer hours was to prevent binge drinking. Heaven forbid, it couldn’t possibly have been for pubs to get more money in could it?

          Last meal out we had was for silver wed two and a half years ago. (Indian) If I get the bus back to Spain, I may have a drink/tapas at a bus station bar. Partner has a friend who he occasionally has a couple of beers with or a couple of coffees. It’s a social meet.

          I’ve just realised I lied. We had a meal out at the geocaching event back in December. That was a social event too but at least the food was decent and the company was great. But we’ve not done it since :D

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  11. I think the chocolate eggs and bunnies come from the more pagan spring festival – celebrating new life etc.

    As usual the Christians couldn’t leave it alone and, as with Christmas, tried to make it about their religion – hence the nonsense mixup of the solemn biblical story and the frivolous chocolate treats.

    Christmas fits together better. The celebration of the birth of Jesus goes quite well with the midwinter feast and winter solstice, even if they have to occasionally sternly remind people about the “true meaning” of a celebration they initially banned and later hijacked.

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    • Apparently painted eggs represent an empty tomb. I can understand the bunnies, I think the choc is a bit unnecessary.

      It’s interesting the way Christians have taken over pagan festivals. Winter solstice/christmas is a classic, but Día de San Juan for midsummer in Spain is no different.

      A little tolerance wouldn’t go amiss.

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        • I think that’s a valid point. I would have thought the egg symbolism was far more obvious and related to new life. But not being religious, I was reading around, and came upon that idea which I think is the first time I have heard of it

          Who knows? My life’s too short for me to become an expert on any religion. HTML and CSS are of more use.

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          • I’ve got a time rich, money poor life. But even so, I need to prioritise my time. And learning more than I already know about religions is extremely low on the list.

            Actually it’s not on the list, apart from being aware of holidays/festivals so I don’t cause any disrespect to people who are religious (eg if we work for Jewish people, we don’t work Shabbat or any of their non-work holidays).

            I taught myself basic HTML some years ago, although do need to keep refreshing from time to time. Sometimes old people need to catch up, and that’s one way to do it. I don’t do social media though, that went out of the window. Too time-consuming for no result. A different type of religion perhaps?

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          • Social media is not entirely a waste of time. I don’t much like it but it has helped me get in touch with old friends and keep in touch with others – useful for people like me who move about a lot and leave a trail of friendships.

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  12. We are non commercial….keep machines for years, putting up with their ‘little ways’ rather than buying something new.
    Here we have been buying stuff from pawn shops….wonderful value on nearly new items consumers bought on tick then couldn’t afford to keep up the payments.
    No point looking for skips…the rich sell their stuff at garage sales at nearly new prices and the rest don’t chuck anything out.

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    • We have the classic ‘machine with little ways’ in a Series III Land Rover. 40th birthday next year. Haven’t seen a pawn shop for ages (I’m not sure my mother ever worked out the difference between pawn and porn). We did a car boot sale with extremely cheap prices and pulled in 35/40€ for a morning’s work, so not bad. Spain used to chuck loads of stuff when we first arrived. Sadly no longer, so Gib actually provides better pickings. Although the number of bikes that were chucked out in Spain years ago was unbelievable. Only ever had one in Gib.

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  13. An Easter message that should be essential reading for all, resonating with my atheist, anti-consumerism soul. Don’t confuse your insightfulness with ‘grumpy old womaness’. It blows my mind that so many supposedly smart, well educated people live like they do without a seeming care for earth or society. Makes me feel like some kind of conspiracy theory type, extremist,wierdo at times. Almost seems like one looses one’s ‘smarts’ as you climb Maslows hierarchy. Ok well that’s the total sum of my Easter rant. Really enjoyed yours!

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    • Trouble is, most of my readers tend to think along similar lines, and are of a similar age, within ten years either way. So for me, accepting charity and cast-offs is an age thing. One year, a neighbour offered us some furniture (people always seem to offer us things!) and I just refused. For once, I wanted to buy something that I wanted that wasn’t someone else’s taste or choice. But at least everything I did buy, I still have :) Apart from things that broke irreparably.

      I was always concerned about the environment from being a child, conserving both animals and our earth, so nothing has changed there. Have to confess to being less keen on the people but they aren’t all bad luckily One of the great things about blogging is the shock of discovering that there are sometimes people who think along similar lines. I have to say I think being vegetarian makes a difference too. No fancy expensive gourmet steak or lobster meals, but a simple Mediterranean style diet. I always laugh when there is a genuine conversation in the supermarket about how delicious lentils are (muy rico) whereas in the UK they are regarded as food for paupers. I never had a pulse-based main-course meal in my life in the UK before I became vegetarian. I suspect while the hierarchy exists, it may not be worth climbing.

      Thank you, and I hope you enjoyed whatever holiday you had.

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  14. Finding free stuff is awesome!! But you know me.. My last post was about some free shop finds I got during the last weeks. It’s like getting never ending birthday presents!:)

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  15. It’s weird that I just got this in my email. WordPress is acting strangely. Interesting post. Love the comments about reuse and repurpose of still useful items. Somehow the resurrection of Jesus (in whom I do believe) and its inherent promise of eternal life became a part of pagan fertility rites or something, and the whole egg thing was, ahem, lain. The bit about the bunny, well that’s just odd.

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    • I’ve just seen comments on here that I didn’t know had been made :( Another WP blunder.

      It was one of those posts that just came together. While I’m not religious, I do think that it’s appropriate to consider what most prophets (for want of a better word) actually tried to preach. As far as I can see, for whatever religion you choose, it was respecting other people, your environment, other living creatures, and not being greedy. So why is it so hard to do that?

      I think the paganism came well before Jesus! Just as he came before Buddha and Allah (blessed be his name). I just have no idea about bunnies. Eggs and new life I can just about grasp – but rabbits?

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