Autumn is in full swing. Halloween has come and gone and I can’t say I’m sorry. We actually had kids knock on the door this year but we don’t answer it. We can’t. The dog isn’t keen on strangers calling in the dark and making woo-woo noises. They would get more of a spooking than they were bargaining for and no one wants to spend Halloween in Casualty. I’m not keen on Halloween for lots of reasons.
- The spiritual aspect. My background means that I am not kindly disposed to jokey stuff about witches and demons etc. It was never a positive when I was a little girl. Also everyone’ s background should surely mean that they are not too keen on dressing their five year old as a sexy witch or giving their three year old a Scream mask. That could just be me. Modern parenting may have moved on. I do not claim to be an expert.
- Halloween Parties. Too fraught for me and too many plastic spiders knocking around. Also as a non swimmer, Bobbing for Apples always seemed to be the kind of thing you would do when you were trying to extract information about the whereabouts of secret plans. Not a child’s party game.
- Never been a fan of entertainment based on frightening the living daylights out of me. Can still remember a visit to Mother Shipton’s Cave as a child. Some lunatic had thought it might be “educational” to put a statue of Mother Shipton (Wise woman/Witch – depending on your theology) in the back of the cave where she was born. After catching sight of it, it took three park attendants to scrape me off the ceiling.
- My mother told me that Door Knocking was legalised begging. (See also Penny For the Guy and singing the line Away In a Manger three times and calling it Carol Singing) Or demanding money with menaces these days. My neighbour actually had her windows egged this year! This was unwise as her husband is an ex marine and they have three quite large sons knocking about the place.
- It’s very American. That’s what people say a lot about Halloween. I like America though. I like the teeth and the can-do attitude and Tina Fey. It’s a grand place. (The Gun thing is a bit weird I know) Halloween is a bit of a money spinning exercise though, as anyone who has been in the first aisle of Sainsbury’s at this time of year will tell you. (Where are the carrots?)
We like our Autumn entertainment a bit more homely in the UK. We like celebrating the possible destruction of our democracy by burning effigies in the streets and by remembering torturing people until they could no longer write. See Guy Fawkes’ signatures before and after The Rack. We are a bit more civilised here.