This week, in Derbyshire hospitals, we’ve been leading up to Easter. I started my sessions by making hot cross buns. I’d made the dough at home (plus shortcrust patry for the crosses) and I let my breadmaker do most of the work on Monday morning, although by the time my double batch of dough was ready to take out of the machine, it had risen so much that it was escaping. I put the dough in two large plastic tubs that had previously contained Celebrations chocolates. The hot cross bun dough tried to escape from the Celebrations tubs too, because it rose so much, but I managed to transport it safely to Cavendish Hospital in Buxton and Newholme Hospital in Bakewell. So much for spring weather – on my travels into the Peaks this week, I’ve encountered gales, torrential hail and rivers bursting their banks. It’s grey and drizzly now as I’m writing this.
The patients soon got to grips with kneading and shaping the dough, even one patient who had never cooked before in his life, according to his bemused visitors, who turned up to find him with floury hands. The buns rose up beautifully in the oven, and looked and tasted delicious.
While we were waiting for the buns to bake, we wrote acrostic poems about Easter and springtime. In acrostic poems, the initial letter of each line read vertically to spell a word. It’s a fun, and sometimes challenging way to write a poem, and I discovered that many of the patients and staff had poetic talents. Judge for yourself! We decorated some of the poems with Easter-related pictures.
Bunnies hopping in the sunshine
Undulating fields sprouting with new grass
Daisies and dandelions dancing in the breeze
Daffodils budding and bursting
Into flower like yellow suns
Narcissi and crocuses seeking the warmth
Grass starting to grow – the smell of the first cut.
Listen to the birds singing the dawn chorus
Evenings lengthen towards the solstice
All the colours so brilliant and all the new life
Violets in the hedgerows with a delicate smell and hue
Everyone’s happy that winter’s over –
Swallows and swifts will soon appear.
And finally, here are some fantastic eggs decorated by patients at Walton Hospital in Chesterfield.