The new lexical hybrids above of course refer to the close incidence of my birthday and Easter.

For the former. I made myself a coffee cake, usingDelia Smith’s (or Saint Delia as my mum calls her) recipe.

It was pretty nice, although next time I think I’d omit the fromage frais from the topping, replacing it with extra mascarpone and icing sugar. The fromage frais gives it a weird tang that detracts from all the other good stuff about the cake. On the up side, the boy was unduly impressed that I managed to write my name on the cake (thanks to Vahiné chocolate icing tubes, I’ll have you know). Go me.

My aunt and mother also share my birthday, but I didn’t ask what kind of cakes they had.

For Easter here in France, they do sell eggs, but they’re not as central to the whole proceedings or as flamboyant as they are in the UK. They’re much more sophisticated and (as a rule) generally much more expensive. In the supermarket you can get the occasional low-end cheaper egg but they are mostly aimed at children (and I do have some dignity left). The chocolate hens that are sold are often better value than the eggs, even though you get the same amount of chocolate. Inside the hens (and the eggs) you get lots of little chocolatey trinkets, such as mini chocolate eggs, mini chocolate fish (remember this is still a Catholic country) and mini chocolate squid (**** knows why). They are usually quite nicely presented, coming with a ribbon wrapped around them, and with their own dinky little fake nests:

(Hey, look, you even get a better photo this time.)

In addition to this (because I am greedy), I not only had all of the usual Easter paraphernalia brought over for me from England by the mothership (including mini Creme Eggs and proper Mini Eggs), but I also invested in the following:

Baby bunnies!!!!!

This little ensemble was maybe a bit more expensive than it deserved to be (€13,50 for the mug + 10-12 tiny Lindt bunnies, several of which were already – ahem – given a good home prior to this picture being taken), but at least you get to keep the mug after. And they’re just so damn cute! Shame I didn’t buy a big Lindt bunny as well so that they could all bow down to it like a god.