Time changed here and I’m discombobulated.
This is iteration number 3 of this week’s post. I had started to write about YouTube algorithms and which music they present to you (might return to this in the future). And then I started to write about trying to figure out how to be in our current world. All abandoned when I remembered that I’d be posting on Halloween (even if the post was for 1 November).
Can’t ignore Halloween.
I think I may have mentioned that this is one of my favourite holidays.
It’s not as exciting here as it was in the US even though the village we used to live in made a big effort. The current village is doing it strangely this year. In the past, there was a sort of trick or treat group thing. But this year it’s somehow morphed into that plus a gathering which has to be paid for. Seems a bit grinchy for a place with million pound-plus houses. It’s focused on families so I don’t participate.
Anyway, things I love about Halloween.
New York City (well, Brooklyn – I don’t think I’ve ever been to the Manhattan parade) is amazing in the run-up to and during the holiday. People take it very seriously but in a tongue-in-cheek way (see pictures from Carroll Gardens taken in 2016). There’s a parade on 7th Avenue in Park Slope (where my father lived). The candy available is mind-blowing (I sent my son his Halloween box to university – I could only get bags of mixed stuff – a bit of candy corn, some pumpkins and something else – rather than the usual simple bags of candy corn). There is much joy in Halloween which isn’t matched here.
Pumpkins. I love pumpkins. Big ones, little ones, green & orange ones that seem to be growing in the farm shop patch (see below). Here’s a pic of mine from this year. I am not on the village stroll (too out of the way) so I don’t carve mine – just admire it and then make pumpkin soup. Extremely spicy pumpkin soup.
Yeah, costumes, but only insofar as they are part of the joy. I think my best costume ever was worn to a party in Manhattan in the 1980s as a dryad (tree nymph). Slicked back hair with green glitter, green glittery face makeup, green leotard and brown tights, diaphanous green/yellow thingy worn over it all. Someone asked me out purely due to the costume.
Candy corn! I know a lot of people aren’t partial to this, but I love it. It’s a good thing it’s now (particularly this year) hard to get hold of here. I don’t like the little pumpkins that much and I’m wanting chocolate less and less unless it’s in small fancy doses with nice stuff inside (I got my German teacher a box of autumn spiced stuff from our local upmarket chocolatier). But, candy corn still does it for me.
Halloween smells. Cinnamon and spice; pumpkin spiced lattes (I don’t drink them – just like the way they smell); wood burning; leaf mould. Le Labo Patchouli 24. I have one of their small bottles of this. Birch (tar), styrax and vanilla. It smells woody and leathery on me, drying down to a woody smoky vanilla which is just mouth-watering and a tiny bit spooky.
Finally, I was wandering around the BBC website early this morning (as above, the time changed here – fall back – overnight and I don’t react well when this happens) and there was a short video about a company in Bristol (Bristol Blue Glass / https://bristol-glass.co.uk/) and the mini glass pumpkins they make (they also appear to make bigger ones). I was so overcome I bought three. I’ll post a pic of mine (other two will be gifts) when in hand.
So, what about you? Is this one of your holidays? If you have kids, does Halloween take over the house in the run-up? What was your favourite costume and what is your favourite candy?