Sometimes in my attempts to be frugal, I do accidentally forget the odd little detail and end up getting caught out, as in the case of Easter this year. Usually a great one for celebrating everything from the cat’s birthday to the loss of a kilo, I’ll admit I have a real problem with all the hype surrounding Easter eggs. I’ll be honest, I’m not religious, but I do appreciate the origins of the occasion and have often wondered what on earth a monumental Christian event has to do with people rushing out to buy and consume copious amounts of chocolate. Hence my children know that Mummy does not believe in giving them Easter eggs - the Easter Bunny however still does. Or did, should I say. In my ‘bah humbug’ frame of mind and steadfastly refusing to spend money on Easter eggs myself, I totally forgot about the Easter Bunny’s part in the equation – until poor little Ali reminded me too late!
As it was school holidays and I literally couldn’t remember the last time I had bought the boys anything, I told them they could choose a small toy as they wouldn’t be getting an Easter egg from me. They still get eggs from their grandparents so are not totally deprived and I figured I would rather spend a similar amount on something that would last, which was fine with the kids. Ali in particular was having a very lucky week – he had finally lost his first tooth, graduated up to a ‘big boys’ bike and found a four leaf clover (in hindsight I should have probably taken him to buy a Lottery ticket!) so was pretty happy with himself. We found a Destitute Gourmet recipe for Hot Cross Buns and made 24 plump and delicious buns for less than the price of six in the supermarket. All in all, Easter Sunday was a pretty quiet and pleasant day, until in the middle of consuming his fourth bun, Ali pointed out ‘Hey! We haven’t had any Easter eggs!’ ‘What do you mean?’ I said indignantly, ‘I got you a toy, remember?’ ‘Not you Mum, I mean from the Easter Bunny!’ Ali went on. Ah – the Easter Bunny. In my miserly state of mind I had completely forgotten about his part in the day. A little light went on in Ali’s head and I could see I was sprung.
‘Mum, you know when we thought there was a tooth fairy and it turned out to be you?’ asked Ali. ‘Does this mean that you’re actually the Easter Bunny as well?’ Fresh out of likely sounding excuses, I sheepishly had to admit that this was true and I had forgotten to get any eggs on the Bunny’s behalf. My tooth fairy secret had already been discovered several months before when Ali was investigating a high shelf and found a secret pot containing half a dozen of his brother’s teeth. Luckily far from being distraught, the boys both thought this was hilarious and I have been known as the ‘Mum Fairy’ ever since. ‘Really Mum’ scolded Ali. ‘If you’re going to pretend to be the Easter Bunny, you should at least remember to get the eggs, or you’ll get found out!’
An update on the ‘no smoking’ front for Noel – it’s not going that great, the patches are off again but he has cut down significantly. At present he is making a pack of 25 last up to three days, so it’s a big improvement and he hasn’t been bad to live with either. One of the main problems is his job as a Livestock Representative. His work through the daytime involves driving around all day, so it’s hard to take his mind off smoking. Then at night he’s stuck in his home office on the phone until 10 o’clock at night, which can be pretty monotonous, so half the time he ends up smoking to take a break or to keep himself awake. I appreciate how hard it is for him but he is really trying. The first few ‘cold turkey’ days he was so vague that he left his work mobile at home, which normally never leaves his side, as he drove to a meeting two hours away. He had almost reached his destination before realising that his phone had been really quiet all the way there and saw with horror that there was an empty space where his hands free set should be. He really enjoyed the peaceful feeling of nobody being able to contact him all day but the blasted thing drove me mad with its incessant ringing!
As for me, I’m still trying too but it’s proving a bit of a slog these school holidays. Maxine and I aren’t always able to get out for our lengthy walks with four children in tow, but I was excited to get a phone call this morning from a friend of mine – do you remember the one I mentioned a little while ago who has a treadmill she never uses but didn’t take my frequent hints that I would be interested in borrowing it? I read a few Vault hints which mentioned about borrowing or swapping fitness equipment from friends and I asked her husband a few weeks ago if Karen ever got round to getting herself the exercise bike she wanted. He said she hadn’t but still wanted one, so I asked if she would be interested in doing a swap for a few months – she would borrow my exercise bike in exchange for her treadmill. Karen called this morning and said she would love to give it a go. I can’t wait! I would never have thought of the idea without the Vault. I still have to be careful with my leg and it’s going to take some time but I have never felt better than when I was running and with the help of my free treadmill, I just might get there!