When Stuart suggests egg rolling for a Good Friday activity, I agree instantly, imagining a gently sloping Lake District hill, brightly painted eggs tumbling over freshly cut grass, a picnic with strawberries and cream and sunny, old fashioned children. The reality is something different.
The kids are ‘making’ our family out of hard boiled eggs. Hannah enthusiastically colours in her Dad’s bald patch for the egg rolling competition, due to start in half an hour.
“There Dad, now you have some hair!”
The day is grey. The eggs are a bit grey too; having been manhandled through the colouring-in process. Matthew goes through the cellar looking for substances to strengthen both his eggshell and his chances of victory. Superglue , furniture varnish and quick dry cement are all mooted, and then sent back down to the cellar.
Perhaps to give himself a better chance of winning, Matthew is calling for the competition to be held outside the back door instead of on the public footpath as planned.
“Hills are boring. I’m going to make a mega course.”
“A mega egga course!” says Cameron. “Can I get a goat for Easter Mum?”
“I want a lamb. Can we get a lamb mum? I don’t want a goat because I snore like a goat,” says his sister, painting whiskers on her Dads chin.
They create a scene from WALL.E in the back yard. No corner of the attic, the cellar and the cupboard under the stairs is left unplundered for course material. And it soon takes shape as you can see in the video below!
It begins, as all good egg rolling courses tend to, with the egg-mobile; an old Fisher Price Toy car that has been sitting out in the garden for the last eight years. Cameron’s egg is reverently placed in the slightly mouldy driving seat. The car is then sent through the ‘fiery hoops of fortune’ – a bicycle rack, before being guided down a garden rake – ‘the fork of fate. It is then brushed up to the ‘pinnacle of doom’ – a section where the two ramps meet.
Soon the slightly battered dairy product is off down the ‘wampa’ –an old sledge the kids built with their uncle Phil out of the bottom section of a bed. It then splodges into a bucket, where it sinks in greenish water.
“Is that tadpoles in the water?”
“No, just sludge I think.”
The person who owns the egg is responsible for fishing it out before placing it in the ‘eggapult’ – a catapult made out a child’s bouncy chair that Matthew retrieved from the attic. Then it is fired.
Cameron’s egg hits the floor and bounces.
Matthew’s egg hits the downstairs window.
Hannah’s egg hits Granny, who has been persuaded to come into the garden. Granny generally never comes into the garden and now she never will again. Over the whole proceedings hang the home made Olympic rings that we made the year we entered the local Caribbean carnival as the British Bobsleigh team.
Egg rolling. It’s an Olympic sport just waiting to happen.
Matthew is on the case.