Last year I enjoyed taking part in the Big Egg Hunt and finding 209 eggs hidden all over London (see 2012’s post), so I was delighted to hear that the Big Egg Hunt was back this year. On a slightly smaller scale, this year there are only 101 eggs to find (plus the mascot, Eggbert), and this time the eggs are only scattered around Covent Garden, not the whole of London. Most of the eggs are really easy to find, and it only took me last night and an hour or so today to snap them all.
All of the eggs in The Big Egg Hunt are decorated and designed by different artists, painters, sculptors and ceramicists, and some of them are really creative and original. The headline artists are Sam Taylor-Johnson (formerly Taylor-Wood), Billy Childish, Alexis Harding and Michael Petry.
One of the best things about the Big Egg Hunt is the great atmosphere it produces. Suddenly everyone is on the same mission, and complete strangers happily chat to each other in the streets. I met this lovely chap today who made the effort to call out to me when he saw me again later and offer me helping in finding Eggbert, who was hiding. Usually in London people don’t look at each other, let along speak to each other, so it make a really nice change to discover that there are in fact some friendly people out there. The Eggsperts hovering around Covent Garden selling books and giving out chocolate were also lovely!
The Big Egg Hunt is sponsored by Lindt chocolate and in support of Action for Children, a charity committed to helping the most vulnerable and neglected children in the UK. The Big Egg Hunt will be in London until Sunday 17th February, before it moves off to Birmingham (19th – 25th February), Liverpool (27th February – 5th March), Manchester (7th – 13th March), Glasgow (15th – 20th March) and then finally back to London for Easter (22nd March – 1st April).
Find out more at thebigegghunk.co.uk.
If you’re a follower of my daily photo blog, Picturing England, you will know that I have been a bit egg-obsessed for the last month. The Faberge Big Egg Hunt took over London from 21st February to 31st March, dividing the city into 12 zones and “hiding” 210 eggs for the public to go and find. When you found an egg, you were supposed to send a text message with the unique code in order to enter the competition. The prize? A £100,000 golden Faberge egg.
When I started, I had no intention of trying to find them all, but I quickly became addicted. Searching was eggsellent fun, and completing a zone was a real thrill. But there were other benefits too.
One thing I loved about the Big Egg Hunt was the sense of community it conjured up. These days, and especially in London, people don’t talk to each other. But the eggs changed this. Over the course of the hunt, I spoke to all kinds of people, young and old, families, couples and solo egg hunters. We compared notes, gave each other hints, and generally just egged each other on (sorry, egg-related jokes are one of the side effects of too much hunting). I heard stories of friendships forming over eggs, of people deciding to join forces and hunt together. I saw children talking to children they didn’t know and peering through windows together to try to spot eggs hidden in shops. Everyone I spoke to was caught up in the thrill of the hunt.
Another benefit was the “eggsercise”. Of course I did take Tubes to reach some destinations, but then I walked, and I walked, and I walked! I have no idea how far I walked, but my legs tell me it was far. It was great to be above ground and see how London fits together. I realised on a few occasions that Tube stations were much closer together than I had thought. While I was out and about, I also saw children on scooters and running up to eggs. It was so nice to see people enjoying the fresh air and being outside.
One other major benefit of the big egg hunt for me was going to parts of London I would never normally go to, and seeing things I didn’t know were there. I found art and sculptures on the streets and in parks, I went in eggstremely fancy shops like Liberty and Fortnum and Mason, and I saw the modern buildings of the City towering next to the ancient buildings that remain. London really is an amazing city, and I hadn’t realised how lucky I was to be living here.
The big egg hunt was time-consuming but worth every minute. I had so much fun, found out a lot about my city, spoke to some lovely people, and feel like I really achieved something. I know scrambling around London looking for eggs is probably not everyone’s idea of fun, but it’s certainly mine!
Amazingly, I managed to find 209 eggs! The only one I couldn’t find was the elusive #57, which no one has been able to find yet because it hasn’t been delivered by the artists (the Chapman Brothers).
Here are the 209 eggs I found, which I consider to be a complete set:
All eggs will be on display together in the Covent Garden Piazza from Tuesday 3rd April until Monday 9th April. They really are eggstraordinary, so do check them out if you can!
Lent starts today. For any of you who don’t know, Lent is a period in the Christian calendar which runs from Ash Wednesday (the day after Shrove Tuesday, or “pancake day”) until Easter Sunday. Lent has always been about penance and self-denial, and many people choose to give things up during this period. It is also supposed to be about prayer and charity.
Well, I’m already doing my bit for charity during this period, by volunteering for an event for Japan on March 11th and, although I won’t exactly be praying, the event is being held in a church.
I’m not a Christian, but I’ve often found that giving stuff up for Lent is a good way of imposing a rule on myself and forcing myself to do something. I can be very strong-willed, but I do need rules, and rules imposed by others are much easier to stick to. I could easily give something up for, say, a month, but when challenged by other people I find it hard to stick to my guns. However, if I can say, “well, I’ve given it up for Lent”, no one can really argue with that.
So, I have decided to give up chocolate from today until Easter Sunday (April 8th). From today, I will not be eating any chocolate in any form. No chocolate bars, no chocolate biscuits or cake, no mocha from Starbucks. No Options hot chocolate, Shape chocolate puddings, or chocolate coated raisins. Not even a Chocolate Button will pass my lips.
If you know me in the real world, please be kind and don’t try to break me!
As I was browsing the shelves in my local supermarket last weekend I happened to spot a nice little selection of chocolate reindeer. Beside them were gigantic tins of Quality Street. This can only mean one thing – Christmas is coming!
Except, unless I’m mistaken, it’s only September. Kids have only just gone back to school, and we haven’t had Halloween yet. Surely, if anything, the shops should be full of pumpkins and witches?!
I feel like every year is getting shorter, and people are in too much of a rush to move on to the next big thing. We all know Creme Eggs will be available to buy before Christmas Eve and, as much as I do love them and wish they were available all year round, that’s just wrong.
Let me compare England to Japan for a moment. In Japan, there is a very distinct changing of the seasons, and this is reflected in the goods available in the shops. But there is never any overlap. It’s simply not possible to buy Halloween goods and Christmas goods at the same time in Japan. In England, I sometimes wonder if it might actually be possible to buy reduced Halloween goods, Christmas goods, and early Easter goods all at the same time – late November, perhaps?!
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t getting excited about Christmas already. I’ve seen some lovely Christmas cards in the shops, and I’m already imagining where I’m going to put my Christmas tree in my new flat. But I think we need to slow down. If we’re not careful, we’re going to forget to enjoy the moment completely.
So, what am I looking forward to right now? Moving house (again!) next weekend. That’s just about as far into the future as I want to go at the moment.
If you can’t help get excited, there are:
35 days until Halloween
90 days until Christmas
198 days until Easter
(Image source: I think I received it in an email once, but I don’t know whose image it is originally.)