Thursday 31 October 2013

Hallowe'en in a Small Way, Knitting in a Big Way!

I've never been that bothered with Hallowe'en. Growing up in England through the 60's and 70's we didn't really do it. There was nothing in the shops like there is now. You all did Guy Fawkes Night and then had the gap till Christmas and we were all amazed when the film ET came out and we saw all those American children out 'en masse' Trick-or-Treating. It started to creep in to Kent while we lived there (mainly the 90's and the 'Naughties') so we bought the obligatory tin of Roses chocs and carved a pumpkin for the front window to give notice that we were up for it, but we only ever got a couple of groups of very well behaved and shy, restrained kids on our street. You had to brow beat them into taking 'a decent handful' of the chocs, or you'd be left eating them for weeks. I remember one year where Liz and Mrs S (possibly before she was Mrs S?) tipping our tin out onto a coffee table so they could sort out sweets between ones we liked and ones we didn't. The good ones were then buried at the bottom of the tin so that the kids would mainly take the yucky strawberry creme centres.

The Silverwoods, on their 'young' estate with its million children go the maddest for Hallowe'en. The streets pretty much become no-go areas with great troops of little witches and ghouls in elabourate costumes being shepherded from house to house. Everyone gets involved, so the whole street(s) have all bought a truck load of sweets  and gazillions of Euro worth of decorations - big black billowing Death-mask figures which rise up on strings attached to the door when you open it, sound effects, lit up grave stones for the front lawn, dry ice smoke and so on. Real artistry is applied to the pumpkin carving (unlike mine, pictured, which took 5 minutes!) using stencils from the internet to do cats, witches, mummies and the like. Mr S's ones are brilliant. He must take hours over them. Special ghostly food is cooked and spooky parties are held for all the kids, who by now have returned to their own house several times with full carrier bags of sweets, their arms too tired to carry all the booty. Liz and I were there for one year and it was all brilliant fun.

Back here though, we live in a lane where there are only 2 families (2 brothers) with any children. so we don't go too mad. I grew a few pumpkins this year which we will put along the drive and on the gate piers when it gets dark. If last year is anything to go by we will get one visit (both the families, and one of another brother from outside the village) but they do a good job of dressing up and they get shepherded around by the Mums in hi-viz jackets. We are happy to join in as part of our getting known and accepted in the village. I'll let you know how we got on. When I say 'we', unless the kids are very late it is more likely to be me and the dogs because Liz is away.

She has gone to Dublin with her 'Knit and Natter' group in a 29 seater coach, to the annual "Knit and Stitch" Show which is held at the RDS, Ireland's big national exhibition space, equivalent to the NEC or Earl's Court in the UK. Knitting, cross-stitch and the likes are MASSIVE in Ireland and this show is a huge Trades Exhibition for the wool producers, knitting needle makers and anyone with new ideas or techniques or equipment to show off. We were up early (05:45) to get Liz and Carolyn to the coach pick-up point in Balla-D by 07:00. They have been at the Show all day and are just now on the way home, shopped out and loaded down with wool and goodies, returning via a stop for a burger in Enfield Services. Liz will text me when they get to French Park, so I should be able to  get to Balla just as they are disembarking the coach. That's the plan anyway but, you know, Witches are ABROAD!

1 comment:

Mr Silverwood said...

They don't take that long to carve really, getting used to doing it now anyway, but I must admit they do look alright in the end.