Wednesday, October 31, 2012


One of the things I have noticed in the past few weeks over here – mainly in America, but also in the last few days in Canada, is how big Halloween is.

In America there were huge market stalls next to the roadside in every state I visited – full of hundreds of pumpkins. Now, I know that Americans love to make Pumpkin pie and other such delights, but there were also scary scarecrows, ghosts and other such creepy characters sitting on doorsteps and in gardens – remember though I have been back here since October 16th and Halloween is today, so these were sitting around and ready to go at least two full weeks before the Halloween celebration.

Canada is no also getting into the full swing of it – In Walmart the other day noticed aisle after aisle of kids costumes, with Irate mothers shouting at each other that ‘Sharon wants to go as a witch and there aren’t any witch costumes left!’ . Poor little Sharon will have to make do with a choice of the other 300 or so expensive bits of tat that have been left behind by more organized irate mothers!!

On the streets themselves there have been pumpkins sitting around for most of the last week and now there are fake gravestones, ghosts, scarecrows hanging by necks from trees and spider webs everywhere. Luckily, or unluckily - whichever way you look at it – we live in an apartment with no outdoor space and so didn’t have the chance to decorate our garden with such stuff. We also miss out on the joy (yes, the utter joy – honest) of screaming little shits delightfully dressed children begging trick or treating on our doorstep as we hand them  out of date sweets in reward for their efforts in creating such wonderful costumes mothers rushing around Walmart to find the least tacky costumes. 

We have already had a Halloween celebration or two of our own though. At the weekend one of Buffy’s work mates had a Halloween party at his house. Weirdly in my mind though, on the one day of the year when there is a theme of ‘Halloween’, over here they forget all about ghouls and ghosts and decided to have a costume party (Fancy dress for all us Brits) with a theme of ‘Under the sea’. I won’t go on about it, but surely a Halloween theme would have been more in keeping with the time of year? No? Just me then!
Crap octopus

We did actually get dressed up for it though. I bought a handful of cheap shitty jumpers (sweaters for all the North Americans) from the local charity shop and spent a couple of hours cutting off the arms and reattaching them all to one jumper – until I could pass for an Octopus impressionist – complete with bubble wrap taped to each arm to mimic the Octopus suckers! I even had a mermaid doll stuck to one of them to complete it! Buffy had a little more trouble deciding what to wear. At first she planned on going as the ‘Necklace from Titanic’, which had ended up at the bottom of the ocean. She ordered the necklace itself - or at least a cheap look-a-like’, from E-bay but it still hasn’t arrived, so she had to make another choice. Her second idea was to be ‘A Tectonic plate’, so after visiting the same charity shop as myself, she stood in the lounge, with a 49cents dinner plate around her neck, complete with stones taped to it. In a word, it was CRAP! She decided that it was just too crap to wear and so moved onto her third choice.

Under the sea

Third choice was to be ‘Under the sea’, itself. So she donned a blue top, printed out a whole load of fish, starfish and other creatures and added then to some of the remaining bubble wrap bubbles to create an under the sea scene on her jumper. Then on her head she had a headband with some waves atop and a small boat. I do believe she put in more effort than any of the kids will do as she coloured in all the creatures, the waves and the boat all by herself! I should give her some sweets for her effort!
The party itself was actually really good. A house full of about 50 or 60 people, some with great costumes such as the two halves of the Titanic, various fish and scuba divers and even Poseidon – the god of the sea. I got a bit hot in my 8 armed jumpers and so left it (them) in the cellar whilst enjoying a quick dance and it was never seen again! A good night out though with a little too much drinking. 
Sierra and Andy as the Titanic

With the Iceberg!!

On the Sunday we were supposed to enjoy another treat. The Rocky Horror Picture show was on at a local theatre. It is one of those shows where people get dressed up to go and shout out at the screen during the movie. For example when Janet or Brad are mentioned you are supposed to shout ‘Slut’ or ‘Asshole’. All a bit of fun! Unfortunately, we found out in the afternoon that the showing was sold out and so after a bit of phoning around we watched it on DVD t at Evan, Barry and Walkers place on their huge plasma TV. It turned out to be a really good fun night. Buffy was able to get into her Columbia costume, resplendent with red hair, no eye brows and Mickey Mouse ears – all worn with pyjamas like in the film. There were about 10 of us in all and we had a really fun night watching and shouting at the film.

Buffy... Columbia

 Our last bit of Halloween fun happens tonight. The cinema which shows classic movies every couple of weeks is showing a double header of ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’. The original movies from the 1920’s or thereabouts which have been digitalised for the big screen. It should be a fun night out and I’m sure there will be a few people there in costumes too, although we won’t be wearing any ourselves tonight.

Just to keep you informed about the weather – After the snow of last week, it disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. A couple of quick flurries and a day with a layer of snow have now been replaced by grey days, with a cool but not too cold wind. It is actually forecast to stay reasonably warm this week, dropping to below freezing only late at night into the early mornings. The snow of last week seems to have been just a little hint into what we can expect in the coming weeks. I will keep you informed if it changes!!

A full graveyard

Scary scarecrow

Cool idea - leaves in orange rubbish bags!!

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