We had a qualified lovely time yesterday on the Easter Monday bank-holiday. The grandchild arrived from England early on Friday covered in fresh vomit and had an on-again-off-again weekend losing fluids at both ends. After medical consult at home and abroad it was diagnosed as norovirus and/or rotavirus which are notorious for scything through hospitals as Winter Vomiting Bug. So we were in two minds about whether to cancel the three generational party and Easter treasure (kids and adults) hunts. But we gave everyone enough data so that they could make an informed consent; and pretty much everyone turned up. The Boy and Daughter #II had hiked "upstairs" behind the house the day before and set up flags for two alternative adult searches - one across the open face of the mountain and another in the dark quiet of the 35yo Sitka spruce forest in its lee.
Monday was brutal enough: overcast with a whippy Easterly wind, so it was decided to entreasurate the forest series. Accordingly after a potluck lunch a fat dozen folks aged 4 to 60 set off on the adult treasure hunt. The conceit was that from the nearest corner of the forest a blue flag was visible. Near that flag was treasure and sight of the next flag, and so on et ainsi de suite (some of us were French). Not a chocolate egg nor a toy to be found; apparently adults are more interested in alcohol and hangover cures. It was great to be out despite the weather. It's all too easy to sit inside cultivating your virus by drying out your mucus membranes beside a warm fire. And after much whooping and hollering and the odd stumble into the odd pond, we had cleared the forest of goodies and cleared a shameful amount of rubbish left behind by previous visitors.
There was still a stiff Easterly this afternoon but the sun was out and what a difference that makes. So I took myself off up the mountain again to clear up the unused flag-series and leave it all looking like we'd never been there. 'Twas glorious up there - you can see for miles and everything to be seen looks just perfick: from the wren who was living her name (Troglodytes troglodytes) in her tiny cave, to the glinting sea and distant hills of Co Laois, to the bird's eye view of the snug steadings of our nearest neighbours.