So this is my first Halloween in America, where I know it’s a Big Deal.
In the UK, it isn’t so much. Every year my sister and I got a pumpkin each to decorate (she always went for the biggest she could find, I went for the smallest: read into that what you will), and I usually put one in the window when I worked for the construction company, making ours the only building on a drab little industrial estate that had any sense of festive occasion (I also decked it out for Christmas, and it was spectacular). But pumpkins aside, Halloween mostly passed me by during childhood.
My sister and I weren’t allowed to go trick-or-treating — “No child of mine will go begging our neighbours for food” was my mother’s exact response (although when confronted with that this year she says she did let us go trick-or-treating once, with some friends: I don’t remember it) — and more to the point, the UK has a bigger celebration on the 5th November — Guy Fawkes or Bonfire Night, when we commemorate the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when Fawkes tried (unsuccessfully) to blow up the Houses of Parliament, and we celebrate the gruesome details of his capture, torture, and execution with fireworks and by burning his effigy all over the land. #TraditionFTW
But this year there will be no fireworks (and I think a committee is needed to look into which American thought the best time of year to display explodey things in the sky was in fucking summer), only a long succession of children in costumes tramping to the door and demanding something they call candy, which — as far as I can gather — is basically anything containing sugar, including chocolate which in the UK is a foodstuff in its own right. AJ tells me I must be nice and make merry, and we have a big bowl of sweet things all lined up ready for the hordes of little monsters about to descend upon us. But if next Thursday she finds me in the garden trying to blow shit up, now you all know why 🙂