This is not my favourite time of year I’m afraid containing, as it does, my least favourite festivals – Halloween and Guy Fawkes night. I am therefore going to rant a bit and then tell myself to cheer up.

I am writing this in the extra hour we have been blessed with because of Daylight Saving Time as eveyone in Britain puts their clocks back an hour. Unfortunately, no-one has told the dog about this and he began full throttle howling at about 5 am (or possibly 6 am. I am not sure at this point) HOH and I have taken turns to sit with him since then because of the neighbours. It’s like having babies again – except without the energy we both had back then.

I have never liked Halloween. When I was little I didn’t like the whole spooky thing. We would dress up and go to houses on the estate, knock on doors and go “Woooooo” and hope they gave us money. I remember it being cold and dark and then I remember my Father putting a stop to it because it was “legalised begging”. Many years later when I was the person opening the door, our church instructed us to give out little Jesus pamphlets with the mini Mars Bars when children came a knocking and threatening old people. All that resulted in was having to pick up lots of screwed up pamphlets from my front garden next morning. Now it’s all very clean and modern and expensive. It’s also quite disgusting some of it. If you thought there couldn’t be anything more alarming than Amal Clooney dressed as a glamorous witch you should have a look online at the “Anne Frank” Halloween costume (complete with brown tie on label) Or maybe “Sexy Lady Zombie” which appears to have more naked body parts than actual clothing and seems also to come in a size “Small” as in child-small.

Then there is Guy Fawkes night. When I was at school, this was celebrated as the survival of our democracy against those who would try to bring down the country. ChildrenĀ don’t seem as bothered about it now. When I was smaller but less perfectly formed, I remember seeing children dragging carts around with fully fashioned effigies. Now you are lucky if you get one stuffed leg of a pair of tights with a Barbie head on top. Probably all making virtual ones now. There are, of course, lots of complicated facets to the Gunpowder Plot and I think lots of people have been watching “Gunpowder” to gen up on it. I haven’t bothered – for my usual reasons. Anyone who knows anything about British history knows that this was a particularly brutal time. I know that I will be no good with all the executions – especially with added CGI. Apparently on the last episode it was Jew burning night. Is it just me?

I’m no historian but both Halloween and Bonfire Night are a bit the same. They are about money and power. Whether it is dragging the village wise woman/healer out into the street to torture to death so that she learns who is “top” in this society or dragging out your local Catholic/Protestant into the street to torture to death so that they learn who is “top” in this society, the causes are the same. And they usually have next to nothing to do with religious conviction and nothing at all to do with following Jesus. It’s quite annoying don’t you think?

Anyway reasons to be cheerful – after these festivals are over, Christmas is on the way – I love Christmas – but I only like it in December. I have sent for an advent book because I like advent almost as much as Christmas. Also The Crown is back – I loved the first series. Also films – loads on the way – The Thor One (can’t remember what it is called), Death of Stalin, Breathe and I wouldn’t mind seeing Blade Runner 2049 again. Am off to eat chips with candlelit ambience. Keeping it classy.


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