I am sitting on the sofa, next to a window, rain coming down outside, tea and hot cross bun in hand. The new chill is a change after one of those warm spells, a strange and sudden summer that turfs office workers from behind their desks at lunchtime and onto bits of London greenery, eating sandwiches, sitting on jackets and hitching up their sleeves, skirts and trousers, to warm their skin and ankles. That has passed, and the wind and rain has returned.
Last Easter was one of those summer spells too. Me and Mr Moll had booked a weekend in Brighton randomly, in the dark shorter days of the winter. By luck alone, it was a glorious sunny weekend, and the Sunday was spent egg rolling at Devil’s Dyke above Brighton. I described it here.
This year, I decided to have a go at doing the same thing again, at Hampstead Heath. I had absolutely no idea if it would work. The dyke near Brighton is perilously steep. It had people in National Trust t shirts organising the whole thing. It was a regular event. Could it possibly work on the hilly, tufty, possibly rainy bit of London town? I wasn’t sure. In fact, as we walked up to the heath, Mr Moll and I were wondering if we would be tumbling eggs down the path instead.
We met the lovely Steph of Little London Observationist, a brilliant blog for Londoners and Londophiles to keep up to date with, and a few others at The Garden Gate pub. I must also thank Steph for all images on the blog post. The Garden Gate comes highly recommended. It’s warm and friendly, wood burning stove, good food, and bar staff that keep a straight face when you ask them to judge an egg decoration competition, which is to be respected.
After the judging, we headed up the heath to Parliament Hill, for some egg rolling. And, guess what, it worked! I don’t know if it was the hundreds of times that someone has bundled down it on a sledge, but the slope was perfect; mostly flat with a few tufts here and there to make the competition more interesting.
The only rule was no over-arm throwing. We all stood at the top and rolled, or bowled, the eggs down the hill. Some bounced and exploded on the way down, which was particularly exciting. We had two eggs each and sent them down. Mr Moll’s egg, named Gary (apparently he’s an IT technician), won – an unexpected bonus that meant we got to have the prize egg later with tea (no cheating, promise).
There were enough eggs still in tact to have another go, and we climbed back up the heath, collecting broken eggs as we went. We headed back down to the pub, to grab a lucky table for a Sunday roast at The Garden Gate.
A bit of decoration, chocolate prizes, slight randomness, outside greenery followed by a potato and gravy lunch. This is definitely got the makings of a tradition – in a few years there could be a whole line of people waiting at the top of the heath, eggs in hand.