In Sydney yesterday, I finally realised that Easter is just around the corner.
And check out this gold Lindt bunny I saw yesterday near the office - I'm lucky (or unlucky, depending on your perspective ) to be located quite nearby a Lindt chocolate cafe, and this guy was flanked by lots of people handing out lovely little Lindt eggs, of which I ate far too many.
And see how big he is? That is a real live person in the background on the right. That's how big he is. He's a whopper. A big, gold, chocolatey whopper. Actually I think he's inflated with air, not whipped chocolate mousse, but we can dream, can't we?
There are a couple of reasons I love Easter, I think.
I'm not religious though, and I don't especially love chocolate above all things in the way that many women do (and My One True Love too, he eats more chocolate than any woman I've ever known).
But first - and foremost, I think - my birthday falls in April, and so as a child Easter always meant my birthday was just around the corner. And that was definitely something to be excited about. Birthdays! They're the only day that truly belongs to you. Even if the Easter holidays did often mean there was no one around to come to a party, so I hardly ever had a party on my birthday.
And secondly, Easter did mean chocolate as a child, and there was not a lot of chocolate or even non-specific sweet activity in my household when I was growing up.
This was undoubtedly a good thing, as I'm sure that if I'd been let loose on sweet things I'd have, shall we say, indulged my sweet tooth perhaps more than was healthy for me. But it did also have the short-term effect that whenever I had pocket money I would try to spend it on sweets, and I'm sure I developed a very unhealthy obsession with sugar for a while there until I learnt how to self-regulate.
But what I loved THE MOST about Easter was the egg train. Do you remember the egg train?
It was a cardboard train, just bought from the local supermarket I'm sure, that had individually foil-wrapped eggs in each passenger seat. And every egg was a bright colour, and we all know how much I adore bright colours. I know when Trinny and Susannah were out last week they deplored the lack of colour in Australian wardrobes, and I also know that if they'd had the pleasure to meet me, they could never have accused me of that crime.
I loved the egg train. I looked forward to it every year. I would measure out the eggs by day - slowly unwrapping the foil and smoothing it out until every last wrinkle in the rectangle was ironed out. And the way the foil smelt of chocolate! Coloured chocolate foil, that's what I'm talking about. The chocolate was important, but certainly, it was secondary too, to the glorious foil.
I loved the train for years, until finally it was surpassed by a Red Tulip egg I received when I was .... well, I must have been younger than eleven. That's how old I was when the Sister Of My Heart moved to Sydney, and I know that I used the Red Tulip packaging as a money box to save my Show money into, and that I took it with me when we went to the Show together the year that I was given it. So perhaps we were even in primary school.
I loved the yearly Show, with its showbags and animals and carnival rides, and the ghost train, and that Show (the one with the Red Tulip package as pseudo moneybox) was where the Sister Of My Heart introduced me to the phrase "shout", as in "I'll shout you a ride", which she duly did.
But the Show is another post entirely, let me not get carried away down the sideshow alleys of my memory.
This post is about coloured chocolate foil, and the fact that I'm now trying to find a cardboard train for my godson the Miniature Genius, who's coming to visit me in the arms of his mother, the Sister of My Heart, for the entire Easter break. Five whole unadulterated days of Easter holiday with them both - I can't wait!
So I must, must find the train for him. I want the train. I need the train for him. I choo-choo-choose it, to misquote the Simpsons. The train is an essential part of what Easter is all about. Where o where can I find a chocolate train??!!