Stories of the Covid-19 lock-down from a small-time salesman and his dog

Day 18, 19, 20 & 21, The Long Long Weekend

Ever wondered why Easter moves about so much? It can be anywhere between March 22nd and April 25th. An odd thing considering that this is the time Christians celebrate the resurrection. I’ll tell you in my most simplistic of explanations. Nobody knows the exact date of the resurrection. For all the things written and recorded about Jesus and his disciples. The followers of Christ neglected to record the exact date of his resurrection. What they did know is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ happened after the Passover, so followers wanted Easter always to be celebrated after the Passover. And, since the Jewish holiday calendar is based on solar and lunar cycles, each feast day is movable, with dates shifting from year to year. So there you have it, probably the most significant Christian celebration is based on another religions calendar.
There is of course the debate over the lunar calendar. The Paschal Full Moon (The name “paschal” is derived from “Pascha”, a transliteration of the Aramaic word meaning Passover) may not be the exact same date as the actual astronomical full moon. The scholars of the day modified it slightly from its original form, by 1583 A.D. the table for determining the Ecclesiastical Full Moon dates was permanently established and has been used ever since to determine the date of Easter. But I like things simple, it’s after Passover.
What I have never considered is that presumably the lunar calendars are the same for both hemispheres? What I have noticed is that; in the northern hemisphere the first quarter moon looks like a growing D, while in the southern hemisphere it looks like a C. The things you notice when you’re an Isolated Salesman!

This is all heavy stuff for my wittering’s, what Easter means to me is friends. Even in the motor trade I would wangle a few days off together and spend it with friends and family. It’s always a nice long weekend.
In the UK pubs, bars and off-licences don’t shut down over Easter and it’s always a great day out. There is always loads of sport to watch. Friday is generally league and championship football, it’s the tail end of the season for us so there is pretty much interest in every game. Who will get promoted, who will get relegated. Then for the rest of the weekend we will have a pleather of premiership football to watch, smattered with other great sports. Our rugby season is also nearing its end so there is plenty going on.
So imagine our surprise when we first landed here, new to the area we are living in Newmarket, its Christmas morning the wife is working and like all guys I think I will have a walk to the pub for a lunchtime bevie. Back home like a drink over the Easter weekend this is tradition, in fact in my little town for locals the first pint is gift from the landlord. So every pub is rammed with people having a free beer. Hours are limited and generally speaking everything is shut by 3pm so you can wobble home for Christmas dinner and a sleep on the sofa.
I have told you before about our pubs, I remember one year very fondly. Back then in our little town there were three pubs. My parent’s pub at the top of the street, another a little further down and one tucked up around the corner. Sadly there is only two pubs now, I guess this is the sign of the times. Anyway; we each only opened for two hours. We went first eleven to one, the next would open twelve to two and the last one to three. You can see how this played out. There would always be a glass of fizz at one of my dear friend’s house first, then we would rush back open up and let the onslaught begin. Happy times, everyone is in good spirits. New Christmas jumpers on display, everyone dressed well. The staff and landlords of the other pubs would always come for a drink in with the completion and help with glass collecting or whatever. It was an amazing time and now I think about it something I really miss.
Besides all that sentimental nonsense; once we had cleared out the last few stragglers, it would be our turn for a beer. The benefit of opening first I suppose. We had the more relaxed end of day. Only on this particular occasion my farther got a little too relaxed. Lunchtime whiskeys was never going to end well. I remember getting home first to help with dinner and my Mother asking where my Dad was. My Mum very rarely raised her voice, she didn’t need to. You knew when you were in bother and my father was no exception to this. When he eventually bumbled through the back gate. Very few words were exchanged and my father was sent to bed.
Absolute classic Mum, for all her health problems she was the power behind the thrown, of that there was no doubt. But my parents wouldn’t have been the team they were without each other.
Anyway the point I was making before my trip down memory lane was that it might be time for New Zealand to revisit their Licensing Laws? Or maybe it isn’t, perhaps it’s the little quirks like this that make New Zealand what it is and why I love it so much.

As this is supposed to be a diarlisation of my days, it’s probably worth ticking off what we have been doing. NOTHING! Just like all good Kiwi’s unless my wife has been to work we have stayed home and its driving me, like everyone else I am sure around the bend.
I have tried to give each day purpose, have a task or job to achieve. But the honest truth is that even then I run out of things to accomplish by around lunchtime. Normally I have a little bit of work to keep me sane, but all the little menial jobs I have been saving are done now. There is only so much PlayStation I can do and walks that Lola will go on before even she goes and hides. I am bored. We have even started watching movies to kill the time. Now I should qualify that, I don’t watch films. Unless its sport or a documentary I don’t watch a lot of TV period. Apart from Location Location Location, that is my dirty little secret. I like to listen to music or read, so for me to sit down and watch a film is a big thing for me. I started with The Meg as I thought I might be able to spot bits of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf in it, you can’t. Or at least I didn’t see anything. Then we moved onto Happy Gilmore, the wife’s choice but a silly film that whiles a way a few moments. Incidentally I do like to watch the occasional stand-up comedy and Adam Sandler has a really good stand up on Netflix’s; Adam Sandler 100% Fresh. This is well worth a watch and I guarantee it won’t be what you expect.

Today is Easter Sunday and today I am going to amuse myself by creating the traditional Easter Sunday meal of Roast Lamb. Incidentally Roast lamb is the main dish at Jewish Passover too, small world. Anyway I am going to keep it simply, largely because the contents of our cupboards dictate. A garlic and rosemary studded leg of lamb, rosemary might be the first challenge. Served with roast potatoes and whatever vegetables we have in the fridge. In a posh restaurant it might read “vegetables of the season”, believe me it amounts to the same thing. In true Keith Floyd style I pour myself a glass of wine and get on with it, I will try and save some of the wine to make the gravy with later.
I am quite happy cooking, the preparation side of cooking I have always found quite cathartic. Service was always a stress and I never liked that side of it. But now I don’t need to worry about that anymore, I can just enjoy the creating and the eating.
While dinner is roasting we have a game of 90’s Trivial Pursuit, some friends found this game in a charity shop and thought it would make a funny gift. It did, but for a couple of Brits having a 90’s quiz based mainly around Australian culture it made it tough. I win. My prize it appears is to spend the evening talking to my wife and not you all. Apparently I am spending too much time talking to you all and taking the mickey out of her!

1 Comment

  1. Ian Hockaday

    It’s all relevant mate. Days of future past you may be looking at this as the good old times. I recall the 90s and your dad opening up for some of us to watch the all blacks at 8am. I had coffee as he wouldn’t serve grog till the game finished

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