Easter Sunday, early, around seven. Kettle on. First things first.
I went out on the veranda. No mountain. The view was closed: mist had dropped like a theatre curtain bang onto the stage. You couldn’t see past the back fence. Even the newly naked lemon tree was ghostlike, shrouded in fog.
The kettle whistled, summoning me back inside. I made tea and picked up yesterday's newspaper. This is a nice time of morning, before the boys have woken and start stomping around like elephants.
I got to read about two lines.
Mid-morning. The boys are out on the lawn with grandma, who is introducing them to an Easter tradition from Scotland, and other places I suppose. We're going to have one of those who-thought-of-it-first conversations again. The tradition is egg rolling and it is meant to have something to do with rolling away the stone from the tomb. Somehow, a tune comes into my head and stays there.
Grandma has hard-boiled some eggs and the boys have painted them and they are going to roll them down the hill and try not to damage the shells. The winner is the one whose egg sustains the least damage.
Grandma gives each boy a painted egg. The younger will go first.
Thomas winds up and delivers an overarm toss reminiscent of Dennis Lillee about to smash 31 English wickets in the 1972 Ashes tour. His egg explodes at a distance of ten metres; the yolk rolls into the fence. Four! But no prize.
William sees his chance and comes in with an underarm toss, reminiscent of Trevor Chappell to New Zealand's Brian McKechnie in 1981, that sends the egg rolling perfectly straight, despite its shape.
William's egg sustains only minor cracking. William is the winner.
Later, we ate the rest of the painted eggs in sandwiches. You can't do that with cricket balls.
The mist lifted a tick before midday and there was a perfectly good autumn afternoon that I wasted in cutting and stacking lemon tree branches and separating the thick branches from the twigs for the purposes of disposal. I need one of those machines where you toss a tree in one end and mulch sprays out the other.
Early evening. We left grandma and her lemon tree and her mountain and floated back down through the sepia forest to the ribbon freeway that was gold in the setting sun, back to the city, swinging around north across the Bolte Bridge, as the sun dropped out of sight, and exited at Moreland Road. Home at eight. A late dinner. I like it that way. The boys are in bed.
The tune struck me later. Roll Away the Stone, with that unforgettable piano intro. That was a great song. It's probably on YouTube somewhere. Everything else is. Whatever happened to Leon Russell?
Roll away the stone
Don't leave me here alone
Resurrect me and protect me
Don't leave me laying here
What will they do in two thousand years?