As we peer out of the Burrow windows this Easter Sunday morning, snowflakes as large as gooseberries are fluttering down, and the grass outside is already covered with a white blanket. The Seasons are indeed a'changing.
This Easter Day [23rd March] is the earliest we shall experience in our lifetimes. The earliest day on which Easter can fall is 22nd March; the last time this occurred was in 1818, and the next will not be until 2285. The latest Easter date is 25th April, which some of us saw in 1943 and some [but not the Burrow denizens] will see in 2038.
Although the League of Nations in 1926 endorsed the keeping of Easter on the Sunday after the second Saturday in April, and this became British law when Parliament passed the Easter Act in 1928, the Act has never been brought into force because it requires the agreement of all the Christian churches, which is still not forthcoming. But then, when did the Christian churches all agree about anything? That would indeed be a miracle.
Be that as it may, we are now enjoying [?] a White Easter. And, as always, Easter marks a turning-point from the death of Winter and old age to the new life of Spring and youthful hope. This week, we have heard the sad news of the passing of Merkin's mother, and the glad news of the arrival of a new great-great nephew: Welcome, Oliver James Harper! Many years ago a dear cat, Pico [short for Piccolo, but he was so large we thought he should have been called Trombone!], died in our arms on Good Friday. So Easter memories accumulate.
By the end of this week Anticant - flying conditions permitting! - will be sitting on his favourite Italian lakeside terrace, with the prospect of ten even lazier days than usual ahead, plus scrumptious local food and lovely warm thermal baths. So the Burrow will be on vacation until mid-April. Meanwhile, we wish all our 'Snug Regulars' and others a Happy Easter, and - if you are hardy enough - good Spring gardening.