At the crack of dawn and in the cold, I drive the 5 year old to a gathering of fiends. Giddy and ghoulish they dance and sing. What a feast to behold - black bat adorned sugar buns, and monster munch for the lesser sweet of tooth. Witches, pirates and a fairy princess, vampire hosts and Cleopatra, back from the dead. My funny clown is a burst of colour amidst their dark, glittering tones. Yet gruesome in his own way - a garish red smile smudged across a white painted face.
The baby and I leave them to it - drama club at 9.15am is no place for those still bleary eyed from sleep. We walk in the fresh air, then take refuge from the cold - with coffee and buns and a pot of yogurt for my girl.
I love Halloween - and the dark magic it evokes. As children we dooked for apples, recited poems and wandered in the dark - skirts and bags rustling from door to door. Monkey nuts, homemade tablet, and toffee apples for a lucky few. A little different now - far less poetry and fancy dress seldom cobbled together from home. Supermarket aisles where blood curdling vampire costumes are available in age 2.
But a white sheet never fails to entertain my boy. And a bedtime story without lights - enough to send a shiver down the spine. An imagination run wild - the vital ingredient without which there is nothing to fear in the dark. We have bats in our house, in the attic above our room. In the spring of each year we watch them swarm from the roof-space and into the woods. And a black cat, who crosses our path, on his prowl back home from the field.
A witches hat - atop our chimney - is doused now, most of the day, with wood-smoke from the fire. If ghosts are abound they are welcome in. I love All Hallow's Eve - the stories, the lanterns, and the childish make-believe... x