When exactly did our holidays and festivals start getting l o n g e r and L O N G E R ?
Was it, perhaps, when we stopped believing in what we were supposed to be celebrating?
I ask this because it’s still five-and-a-half weeks until Good Friday and the Hot Cross Buns have been in the shops for the past fortnight! As indeed have been the Easter Eggs, which started to appear several weeks before that!
Now, as it happens, I’m really rather keen on Hot Cross Buns, but I do feel - apart from noting that the ready availability of such treats must be hard on those attempting to observe the season of Lent - that something is lost by being able to eat HCBs before, during and after Good Friday with such abandon.
I can still remember the excitement of the baker delivering the buns (13 if you ordered a dozen) on the day itself and then rushing to the kitchen to pop them under the grill…
And then the rich aroma of spices permeating the house and the butter melting and dribbling down your chin!
Small pleasures; still, in an era when radio on Good Friday virtually only broadcast church services, passion plays and sacred music and the most exciting thing on TV (if you had one, that is) was a screening of The Robe, such small pleasures were significant…
By the way, does anyone know why it was (according to the old song), "One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns"? There seems to be some confusion in that lyric as to the precise unit cost!