Easter Sunday at the Saunderson’s


Easter Sunday was spent, with food and sunshine (interrupted periodically by rainshowers), in Kinross with the Saunderson family.

We were supposed to meet at 11:30 am at Kate’s flat. Despite leaving at 10:57am to catch a bus to ride for 15 minutes, I didn’t make it until 11:40. Such is the Dundee bus system, folks. Fun, but not really that practical. I would have been faster on foot. When I arrived, however, I found the girls still puttering about. I snagged a baguette that Kate claimed would quickly be going stale, and begged Nutella from Hazel. This acted as a replacement for the nutritious breakfast I ought to have planned, and in lieu of the pastry I had hoped to procure from the Dundee Pie Shop, which was, naturally, closed for Easter Sunday. Alicia watched a documentary on a Dutch painter who enclosed the figures in his paintings in a near-claustrophobic gilded “box” (Van der Wyden, I think) while I breakfasted and Hazel and Kate readied themselves.

On the way out of town, we picked up Caoimhe, and then we had a proper carload. It’s a nice drive out to Kinross, and we discussed potential invasive iphone applications on our way. I don’t recall how we got onto the subject, but it almost immediately turned towards the inappropriate. We started off discussing pick-up line generators. Then Kate proposed an application that would scan someone’s phone and tell you enough about them to make conversation (dubbed DateHack or PhoneRape by Alicia, who is good at naming things.) Then came the inevitable iPenis, which prospective ladies could use to size up potential paramours in pubs. Because, you know, there’s an app for that.

Upon arrival in Kinross we were greeted by a really gloriously fitted table.


Kate broke out the bubbly (and beaned her sister in the head with a richocheting cork), and we drank for a bit before settling down for what we eventually decided was called Easter lunch. (Back home, the noon meal on Sunday is Sunday dinner).

Thistle and Champagne


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Dinner started with soup or something called “eggs mayonnaise”. This appears to be the Scottish equivalent of deviled eggs. Alicia makes deviled eggs by slicing hardboiled eggs in half from top to bottom, arranging them cut side up, and topping them with a mixture of mayonnaise, sour cream, and dill. In “eggs mayonnaise” , the eggs are laid cut side down, mayonnaise is piped onto them in a pretty pattern, and then they are sprinkled with paprika. Deviled eggs… well, there are many variations. I do them by cutting the hard boiled eggs in half, scooping out the yolks, mixing the yolks with mustard, mayonnaise, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper or tabasco sauce. (Frank’s Red Hot would be amazing there too.) I’ve heard of a variation with shrimp… which, come to think of it, I have shrimp in the freezer… I’m thinking a sort of chili-lime shrimp deviled egg filling!

But I digress. The rest of dinner was ham and tuna … plait? I think it’s called tuna plait. It’s basically a short pastry crust (like pie crust) wrapped around tuna and onions and maybe some other things. It is also extremely tasty.

It rained while we ate, and we chatted amiably (though about nothing particularly remarkable that I can remember.) Hamish regaled us with stories of teaching in the Philipines, and us gals shared a tense moment when Kate mentioned our discussion on iPhone apps and we all simultaneously hoped that none of the others would elaborate on what kind of apps we had been talking about. After all, the iPenis is not appropriate for polite dinner conversation, particularly with delightful British people. We talked a bit about taxidermy, and I allowed as how I would love to have a taxidermied weasel. I would attach it to a skateboard and “walk” it everywhere. Kate said something about me developing a reputation as “the crazy lady with the weasel”. I think I’m probably already halfway there.

After lunch and the most decadent sticky toffee pudding ever, the rain had finally let up enough for us to sally forth on a walk. We gathered up umbrellas (the delightful long kind that work almost as well as swords as umbrellas) and headed for the lake. Caoimhe chose the leopard print umbrella with the black frilly edge. I took the Cirque du Soliel one.


I got delightful shots of everyone with their umbrellas.





I also managed to get a few good ones of the gates and other trappings of Kinross House (Edwardian manor, maybe?)

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We chatted while we walked, about nothing in particular–jobs for the summer, the ghost stories told at our elementary schools, and being attacked by geese. It stopped dripping after a time and became gloriously bright and sunny, but in spite of the best efforts of both Hamish and the lovely Saunderson ladies, the green umbrella stayed stubbornly, steadfastly open. Hamish said that holding an open umbrella in the sunshine “made him look like a plonker”. Plonker is a new word to me! (I suppose I shouldn’t mention that I spent an entire summer walking to and from university, shaded by an umbrella because I can’t wear enough sunscreen to not burn).

Because I am a freak and am ridiculously fascinated by all of the green moss in this damp and squishy country, here are the obligatory moss pictures.

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My photogenic compatriots obligingly positioned themselves for magazine-style fashion shots.



Then (will the wonders never cease!) Kate’s dad took Alicia and I for a ride in his supremely glamorous 1949 MG, which he painstakingly restored over he course of two years.




It is the ultimate Cruella Deville car… if you overlook the fact that it handles about as well as a toaster on wheels. However, racing across the Scottish countryside with the top down and the wind whistling over my head was almost like flying, and an experience not to be missed. Kate even got to take a turn at the wheel!

After our spins around the lake, we hunted for Easter eggs that Maggie (Kate’s mom) had hidden in the house. Since we had spent the bulk of our time in the kitchen, it didn’t even occur to us to look there until we had exhausted basically every nook and cranny in the downstairs. Hazel finally located them, in a brown wicker basket on top of the 1950’s-eqsue Smeg refrigerator. Then, since it was beginning to get on towards evening, we raided the leftovers for fortification for the coming week, and bid our kind hosts fairwell.

I was quiet, on the way home–perhaps unusually so, since it was commented upon a couple of times. But in general we were subdued, with our tummies full of food, our legs tired from walking, and our hearts satisfied with good company. I composed letters in my head and wanted to doze, and listened to Caoimhe explain how Irish is taught in schools now. The kids nowadays are lucky, she says–they can get Southpark and Sponge Bob dubbed in Irish.

It was a happy Easter.

Easter Sunday at the Saunderson’s

3 thoughts on “Easter Sunday at the Saunderson’s

  1. Sounds like a fantastic day!! Lucky children in Ireland now – in my day we had very turgid Irish novels and poetry to translate! Southpark would have been fab!

    1. rachelshadoan says:

      Yeah, that’s what Caoimhe was saying–that she missed out on all the fun things to do in Irish! But, on the other hand, if i decided to learn Irish it would be much easier for me! (Well, at least if I was living somewhere I could get the Irish channel. I hope they also translate Sesame Street. How I dearly love Sesame Street! Although it used to be better and more clever. Much the way Disney movies used to be better and more clever.)

  2. I think that I learned all my basic Spanish from watching Sesame Street!! My brothers and I loved it and they showed it in Ireland too which was brilliant. It’s a shame because Ireland really came to life just as I was leaving in the mid 80s – it’s such a different place now and I’m still amazed when I go back how changed it is.

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