I hope that one and all have had a very happy and peaceful Easter weekend. I was definitely ready for the four day long weekend by the time Thursday came around. I'm still trying to get a major project launched, and trying to get people to make decisions is interesting! Still, that's all part of the fun of being in the civil service, and certainly nothing surprising.
We had a very nice lazy day on Friday - it was so good not to set the alarm at all and just wake up when my body had decided it had had enough sleep. I didn't quite lounge as much as I'd expected, and definitely didn't stay in my pyjamas until lunchtime (although part of that was due to someone from the hockey club borrowing the goalie kit, so I really had to be dressed in order to answer the door to him!) I got quite a bit of writing done, and it was good to be able to get my creative juices flowing again.
Saturday was our usual shopping day. I also got some baking done, making coffee and walnut buns to share with our neighbours (although I didn't actually give them to Shirley until Sunday and Gary and his wife until today) I pottered in the greenhouse for a bit - I think I may have got on top of the caterpillar problem with a minimum of fuss (and some very happy sparrows...), as after my mega blitz last week, and a few that I'd missed which I threw out on Saturday, I haven't had any more rear their heads. I've now got four capsicum peppers growing on my pepper plant, which I'm very excited about - I have a vague hope that they will be big enough to eat by next weekend, but it will probably end up being another week just to make sure they ripen.
Easter Sunday was a lovely day - the clocks went back, which meant another hour in bed, and I was fully rested when I got up to Skype my family at 8.30 in the morning. They had been very generous and used the online shopping facility of our local supermarket to buy us chocolate eggs and a lovely bottle of bubbly, so we had chocolate for Easter morning. (which is, of course, the whole point of the celebrations, is it not? ;-) ) Then, after the call, I got out our slow cooker for the first time - this was a wedding present which I'd never got round to using. However, when I cooked our last joint of silverside beef, a number of websites said that this was a perfect cut to put into a slow cooker, and I thought that a lazy Easter weekend would be the best time to try it out! Everything went into the pot (apart from the potatoes, as we both wanted roasties), and it sat on the side in the kitchen for the rest of the day, slowly doing its thing. When the time came for us to have supper, the joint was so tender that it actually fell in half as I lifted it out of the pot. I'm definitely using it again - I'm an instant convert! (now that I google slow cooker and recipes, it seems that pretty much anything that has a sauce element to it can be made in the cooker.)
Staying with the domestic theme, I iced the buns that I'd made, and took a selection round to Shirley - I've not seen a lot of her since I started work (the tendency to come home and either head straight back out again or to veg has meant that I've not been as good a neighbour as I could have been), and I feel a little guilty that she recently had a fall whilst out shopping, and we hadn't known about it (we could have offered to help out with shopping etc for her). Still, she was in a very bright mood, and we chatted with her for over an hour. We had a friend over for supper, too, one of the people we've met through the sci-fi group. He brought wine and board games, and we were eating, drinking, talking and playing through till about 1 in the morning. All in all, a great way of spending our first Easter in New Zealand.
Today has also been successful one in a slightly different way - after an early start for me (my body is definitely in shock from the hour change - it woke up at 8am, and wouldn't go back to sleep, even after the very late night we'd had), and a leisurely morning, we headed out to the slightly more industrial area of Lower Hutt to investigate mattress sales. We'd been told that there were a few shops over there which sold mattresses for slightly better than the $1,000 that we'd been finding, and as there seems to be a proliferation of Easter sales, it was a good time to go and investigate. We've managed to save up enough from the slight excess between our outgoings and my income to cover something cheap, so it was worth going to have a look and see what we could find. And, sure enough, we are now the proud owners of a mattress that will actually fit onto our bed - it is going to be delivered on Wednesday and cost us just over $400 including the delivery fee. I am really looking forward to not sleeping on the floor any more!
So, overall, we have had a very good Easter weekend; I am, however very glad that it is only a four day week this week coming - I think I need another weekend for a rest!