Last Sunday was the Chasse d’oeufs (Easter Egg Hunt) that Ruadhri’s school co-operative organises each year. Like the last two, it was another grey day, but it least it was dry.
The venue this year was St Marien. The eggs had been hidden in the field behind the school, but to get there it was a long walk through the village. However, we went off the main road so we got to see parts of St Marien we never knew existed, even after living close by for five years. There’s the old railway and station, a restaurant and a couple of large factory buildings, that were once thriving places. St Marien itself was previously a large, busy village. However, it was totally reliant on the railway for all this business, and once that was closed in the shortsigthed 1960s, the village went into permanent decline. It is the largest geographically and physically of the three villages in the school co-operative (the other two are Nouzerines and Bussiere St Georges), but it is the only one without any enterprise of any kind in it. Bustling Nouzerines has the bakery, the auberge and a garage; Bussiere has a garage, but poor old St Marien has nothing.
But this afternoon it was lively. There was a good turnout, as ever. Three hundred eggs had been prehidden in the field. By the end of the afternoon, 269 of these had been found. What happened to the last 10% I’m not sure. The place had been combed and recombed by the children, and by adults too, drawn into the fun.
Each child had to find five eggs. There was also the special gold egg, which entitled the finder to a large chocolate Easter egg. All participants got a small packet of little eggs for taking part.
It didn’t take Ruadhri long to find his quota, hidden in hedges, the grass and behind tree stumps. He was disappointed not to find the golden egg, but I think the ones he found are much prettier! All in all, a nice way to start the countdown to Easter.