In an era when millions of people watched the announcement of a new Pope we could be persuaded that religion is and important part of most peoples daily life.
If this were really the case then I am sure that our reaction and plans for Christmas and Easter would be centered round the religious festivals and not around the fact that we could all take a well earned break form the normal daily chores and life at work. However to assume that this has been a sudden change in life would probably be incorrect as it has been a gradual eroding of religions influence over many years.
Much of this is down to how many families have changed attitudes and how it is passed down through generations. I am sure that having been born to a family with a minister as a father many would assume that religious festivals would all be observed to the letter but as a child Easter did coincide with the annual opening of the hotel and this clash had only one winner in that my Brother and I were always farmed out to our Grandmothers- under the aupices of it being part of the Easter tradition, when in reality it was to allow our parents to open the hotel unhindered and free from two screaming childrens interference.
Yes we climbed Pulpit Hill- in Oban- on Easter Sunday morning before breakfast to hear the service from the local minister before descending for breakfast and chocolate eggs, yes the story of the crucification was evident in the service and discussions with our grandmother but all that time our parents were busy serving breakfast to a full house of guests and keeping the hotel in operation.
However times do change- in those days Easter was one of the "special" times of the year, rates were at peak season levels and the whole week was full of the same guests returning and enjoying the first signs of spring and as today the opportunity for a break form normal life.
But now - gone are the days of the house being booked for a week with everybody arriving on Easter Friday and leaving the following week, now a short if slightly extended weekend break is the most that
many guests can afford in terms of time out of the office. Others take the opportunity to take three days away midweek and avoid the bank holiday distractions and with this change so have we. We now offer special three day rates which run not only mid week but also over the Easter period to allow a reason to come to Eriska.
Gone are the days of guests trudging back inside soaked from a day out on the island as now the temptations of the swimming pool and indoor facilities insure that children both you and old can be continually amused and exhausted. Whilst our Easter Egg painting and then rolling competition may have gone by the ways side we can direct guests to the local egg hunt on the Sunday afternoon and we will still be serving Hot Cross Buns and Simnel Cake for afternoon tea and I am sure there will still be plenty of chocolate Eggs to over indulge on.
Whilst my mother no longer makes posies for the guests ( I remember sitting at a kitchen table helping collate these late on a Saturday night when I was old enough not to interfere in the hotel reopening!) there will be a plenty of daffodils in the grounds this year given the mild spring we have enjoyed.
So even with Easter being earlier than usual there remains pelnty of reason to come and whether guests celebrate the religious angle or simply wish to escape normal life ther will be plenty to enjoy here at Eriska