Happy Easter! Welcome to Week 3 of the April Blogging Challenge. In the spirit of the day (Easter Monday) in the Italian culture, today’s topic is about our favourite day outings. I’m writing very late because I volunteered my morning to clean up litter in a lovely bit of North Croydon and then I napped the whole afternoon because the eventful past few days leaving me completely drained. Now with food in my tummy and Spirit Break Out blasting (do not judge me), I shall entertain you with some childhood memories.
A few years ago, the Mothership was taken by a baking frenzy and made a Casatiello for no other reason that she fancied something she hadn’t eaten in years. A Casatiello is a traditional food for Easter in Naples, and is basically a bread baked with cheese, salame, prosciutto and whole eggs and it’s actually absolutely lush. It’s a very good dish to take on outings, even though my research tells me the dish appears in a fable as being on the feast table of a king. There are other recipes that are good outings food, like rice salads, that aren’t as linked to Easter as this is. The symbolism behind the way the bread is actually made is strongly Christian (unsurprisingly, being a recipe from a strongly Catholic territory), although it’s probably lost on my mother despite the fact her late mother was named after a Marian shrine. Anyway, I wish I was able to bake it myself, because I really love picnics.
When I was a child, a location that would be a regular outing destination was the Jurassic Park that would be within a 2h/2h30 driving range, exception being made for my father getting lost in an attempt to avoid the queues on the main route because everyone is going there or to the other nearby parks. I absolutely loved that park because, well, I love dinosaurs. I’ve always wanted to become a palaeontologist, then decided I actually like humans too. A little, at least. But the park is so much fun, and even if I may not take my future children (if any) there on Easter Monday, I’ll definitely bring them there if visiting the old folks in summertime. When I was little it used to be possible to slide down the neck of a huge Apatosaurs. I wonder if health and safety has since moved on to remove all the fun, but there were also real animals and a maze so it’s still nice. It also allows for photo opportunities like pretending that a dinosaur is eating your hand, although my mother seems not to know where that picture ended up so I can’t make a TBT on Instagram with it, and embarrass myself by showing to the world a time during which I had short hair (it’s not a good sighting).
That’s basically to say you can enjoy it as a grown up too, although it really is unfair that grown-ups can’t slide the dinosaur. At times I wonder if 80% of my desire to have children is to make it socially acceptable to do fun things I wouldn’t be allowed to do if not for the excuse of keeping my toddler safe. Another day out I really fancy doing, which surprises those who know me as the person who has fun touring the V&A for the umpteenth time, is going ape. I used to have so much fun doing that as a child. I think I have some sense that I love adventure, whether you define that as digging into an archive not knowing where research will take you, taking a leap of faith with a big life decision or doing more traditionally adventurous things. My parents have never given much credit to stereotypical gender divisions so I would be wearing cute dresses and ballerinas because I’ve always liked cute dresses, and getting them muddied up in the stables visiting the horses because who doesn’t love an impromptu visit to the horses not in riding gear? (obviously my mother…).
I really like being outdoors, even if it’s just a blanket on the grass in a park with some food. I’m really big on the whole stewards of creation thing. However, nothing beats sliding down a huge dinosaur, except, maybe, Disneyland (although, the queues…).