Tuesday 31 October 2017

Things that (don't) go Bump in the Night

Kato is un-impressed by my carving skills.
A quick (and short) post tonight as Hallowe'en night slips by almost un-noticed by the local Trick or Treaters. Or so it seems to us here, anyway. We have often only had one or two callers and on one occasion none at all. I think about 15 is our best score - across 4 families. Little armies of costumed un-dead usually safe inside Hi-Viz jackets and carted round by Mums or Aunties in big 4x4 vehicles. Some are let come up the drive by themselves, others come up shepherded by a parent.

They are invariably very well behaved, very polite and nervous and try to take only one or two chocs from our proffered tub. You have to insist and persuade them that it is OK to grab a hand-full. They look for re-assurance from Mum to check this is allowed. This is very different from the kids we got in Kent (UK) I remember, particularly in the Medway Towns where there was a real risk of running out of sweeties half way through the night.

As I type this it is 20 to 8 so it is probably all done (though, as I have said before, never say 'Never') and we have had a grand total of 3 kids in one family group. These were little ones we did not recognise but it now seems to be the local modus operandi that you, the householder, advertise your open-ness with a pumpkin Jack-o-Lantern lit up on your gate pier. If you don't want the visits, no pumpkins and everybody respects that.

Hi-tech cheese presses.
The only "Trick" mean-ness I have heard of is some 'egging' of house fronts in the village. My Honesty Box was empty (sold out again!) but we brought it in under the trees out of sight of the road as a precaution. Our neighbour(s) have in the past brought their small gang of 7-ish along but not this year, so I guess they are all feeling a bit grown up now and such childish pursuits are maybe not 'cool' any more. The Silverwoods are, from the blaze of pics in Facebook, still leading the charge down in Co Laois - there has been a fun-shoot at the archery and all the family seem to be carving the most excellent and intricate pumpkins.

Cheese just out of the moulds, waiting for their dry salt-cure
Ah well. What else is going on? The short answer is plenty but not a lot I can tell you about. The 'plenty' is one of those "someone else's story" things where I do not have the blessing of the key players to 'report' the story on the Internet. Sorry about that.

Home made wine. 
Other than that we are chugging along making bread, making cheese and starting into our home made wine, which is really nice and quite a revelation. We are now on GMT, of course, so all the bird lock-up and evening duties are now moved forward to 5 o'clock and the long dark evenings are upon us and I am back to being woken up by the dogs at around 7 a.m.

I think I'll leave it at that. Have a good Hallowe'en. Don't run over any little witches, ghosties or ghoulies. Or the Feast of Samhain, if you prefer.

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