Very much just another blog

Man-sized bunny

with 3 comments

I’m not sure how long I believed in Father Christmas for when I was a kid. I remember that, at some stage, my Yorkshire grandmother told my sister and I that he was just a story and didn’t exist. We were sitting on the kitchen table, for some reason and my mother went apeshit. About the Father Christmas stuff, not the table, obviously; she was pretty relaxed about sitting.

Despite the early reality check, my instincts for fantasy did not develop: so Santa was horseshit; the Easter Bunny still very much existed. In fact, the Easter Bunny existed for fucking years and was massively invested in by my parents and their friends over throughout our childhood. This is how the  holiday would play out:

Each Easter we would travel from London to Somerset to holiday with friends of ours. Throughout the week before Easter our folks would lay treats and messages and surprises from the Easter Bunny, all culminating in a massive treasure trail on Easter Sunday itself.

There are a few things you should know about this: we (six kids) fully believed that Easter was something that happened only in Somerset, because that is where we had always experienced it. We also believed that there was a man-sized rabbit roaming around the environs with an endless supply of chocolate, exciting clues and stories about its person and were, of course, in every way willing to engage with this. Finally, our parents – while wonderful, creative and energetic in the pursuit of our development and happiness – also knew that if we were occupied they could read the paper in peace/gossip away from prying ears/get shitfaced.

These are all important and good things one way or another.

The relationship with the Easter bunny was two-way and, diligently, we would spend hours returning gifts, favours and stories to the rabbit. We made a huge nest once out of hay so it could sleep comfortably after a hard day’s hopping about. In the morning we found little chocolate eggs in amongst the hay, and letters promising a return visit soon. How did we not HEAR it when it came to visit, we marvelled?

How indeed. I know my parents much better now and they definitely pulled that stunt off after several boxes of cheap red wine. I’m AMAZED we heard nothing.

The rest of the holiday was made up of walks and pubs and running around the farm. In fact, as I write this, I miss it. I miss the way the farm smelled; I miss the freedom we had – as kids from London it was one of the few places we were allowed to run about away from our folks and explore whatever and however we chose. And I miss finding unexpected things that shaped our days and made us excited about every single day because each held some kind of gift.

The treasure hunt – the BIG treasure hunt – was the climax of the holiday. We were fortunate enough, though we didn’t know it then, to be born into families of scientists, sociologists, dancers and teachers. We were encouraged to be curious; we were challenged to think differently and to express ourselves creatively. The treasure hunts wrote these things large and we were learning Pythagorus’ theorum, ideas about chaos, fractals and citizenship very early on. We once had to dig up a clue buried in the middle of a field. Something to do with trigonometry, I think. We didn’t get it and played instead. Our fathers arrived a couple of hours later with pens and paper and we leant some stuff about triangles. Somehow they did all of this by encouraging us to be imaginative – and that’s what I keep even if I can’t *really* remember the difference between sin and cosine. Somehow, knowledge and understanding were always things we had access to, from this energetic way of being taught and  from within ourselves, which is a pretty amazing gift, when you think about it. And it was always set in the spirit of playfulness.

At some stage we stopped going to Somerset and the Easter Bunny faded, so did Easter in many ways. I notice chocolate eggs in shops but it doesn’t mean very much to me; chocolate is a nice thing sometimes but it’s not in my calender of yearly events and, obviously, I don’t believe in God.

I do miss how much fun we had, though, at this time of year. And in a way I’m frustrated that as I watch people around me with their straight lines ahead, I can’t seem to manage that; there’s always something sparkling in the corner of my eye that I need to just check, just in case, just to see what it might be. It’s not, of course the Easter bunny, but some idea that life has more in its folds if you choose to look through them. And then from time to time I wonder if, in fact, it’s just fucking about and not actually getting on or anywhere. I discovered early, of course, that questions are easy to come by; answers less so.

But, it’s nearly Easter and that is a good thing: those of you with kids have three weeks or thereabouts to ensure they BELIEVE. Good luck.


Written by elikafm

March 17, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. I love reading your blog Ellie. Keep it up young lady

    Giles Palmer

    March 17, 2010 at 2:26 pm

  2. I once went to a (n animal themed) fancy dress party dressed as a man-sized bunny… pink in colour and not wholly unlike your picture.

    Aside from being a GREAT fun evening, I got extra points for having worn the costume from my house in Sussex into central London on the train. I got hooted at by people and cars and then by a train whilst I was waiting on the platform. All manner of folk wanted to chat, on the street and on the train.

    I deduce from this experience that people genuinely do love man-sized bunnies.. oh, and by the way, thank you for the hay nest… it was really comfortable, although it took a while to comb all the hay out of my fur in the morning.


    March 17, 2010 at 5:14 pm

  3. I believed in the tooth-fairy so much that once I left it a questionnaire which it dutifully completed! Another great post Ellie… xx


    March 19, 2010 at 4:57 pm

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