When I walked into the kitchen this morning, I could swear that I could smell baby poo. It was driving me crazy. Then I realised – it’s the pumpkins. They have a very distinctive smell which is almost exactly like baby poo. Thankfully, baby poo is not dreadful in the way that adult poo is so I found that I could cope with the carving.
I have realised that the reason I’ve always found pumpkin carving such hard, bloody work is that (1) I didn’t have an ice cream scoop to get the innards out and (2) my knife was never sharp enough. Fix both of these and it is a reasonably easy job.
Now, on to trick or treating. I was never allowed to do this when I was little because my Mum said it was begging. And done the English way – give us sweets (or money) or we egg your house – it is sort of unpleasant. HOWEVER, my friend M, who has lived in the US and now lives in St John’s Wood (which is a very American area, it has the American School and everything) has explained the American style of trick and treating. You only knock on doors with a LIT pumpkin outside. Once the occupants want to go to bed or have run out of sweets, they blow the candle in the pumpkin out. This seems far more civilised than having gangs of teenagers in hoodies turn up when you are completely unprepared.
This evening, we left our pumpkins lit outside and I hung the sweetie wreath on the door (it doesn’t look much like a wreath but never mind).
Then we went out. I had loaded the kids’ buckets with sweets already so we could hand out some to passersby if no houses had any lit pumpkins outside (it’s probably a bit weird but it shares the Halloween love) but in the end, there were three houses with lit pumpkins (plus a hotel who also gave the kids some sweets) so it wasn’t a wasted journey. We gave the people who gave us sweets some of the sweets that we had brought out with us – my son really liked this but I have a feeling that it isn’t part of Halloween etiquette. One lady had completely gone to town and had scary music, decorations all over her house and a broom that danced in the middle of her living room.
By the time we got home, the kids were exhausted and so was I. It’s only 8:20pm but it feels like 11pm – is it too early to go to bed?