A Stateside All Hallows Eve

1 Nov

We are currently in San Francisco,  prevailing upon the hospitality of great friends for a truly unique half term break. One of the reasons the kids – the Ls, and my gorgeous god daughters – were so excited we were coming this week was the presence of Halloween slap bang in the middle of our break.  We were clearly instructed to get costumes so spent a fruitful visit in Wilkinsons selecting those most appropriate to our idioms. By my interpretation, this meant for adults as well as kids, so costumes and wigs were duly purchased.

I have never experienced such an itchy hairline, but one must suffer both for your art and the humiliation of your children, so the wig was tolerated in all its glory.

Halloween itself dawned appropriately grey and murky. You could almost envisage the dead roaming the streets of Morgan, an impression reinforced by the amount of effort people had gone to bed to spookify their houses. Half-buried skeletons fought their way from garden graves, howling echoed through the night air, ghouls were pinned to trees, and bowls in porches were overflowing with candy goodies. So generous were people, in fact, that I don’t fancy our chances of getting that amount of goodies through Heathrow Customs, at least, this is the message I am attempting to communicate, to give me an excuse to snaffle a few Reeces Cups (crack cocaine for the peanut butter addict).

It wasn’t the generosity of the sweets that made it such a great night, however. It was the community spirit demonstrated. The spookiness was just enough to make little ghouls feels a frisson of fear, while the safe environment and parents out in force enabled slightly older monsters to roam freely without fear, which is ironic, but good.

With Halloween becoming more prevalent in the UK and also in our village, where for the last couple of years it has engendered a similar sense of community event, it is worth thinking about some of the codes of best practice they have over to make it fun not irritating,  ensuring that those with no interest in participating don’t get dragged in. That’s got to be key. It seems to work here via a lights on or off rule; sounds sensible to me.

But now we have an entire Ghiardellis of candy to ship back and the contents of some of my more, um, interesting cakes secured for months to come. That’s epic, as I now say (new Stateside word).

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