Tomorrow is All Souls' Day and today is All Saints' Day following on from yesterday's All Hallows' Eve or Hallowe'en. I love the sounds of all these celebrations redolent of past beliefs and traditions; the wonderful mystery of history.
Nowadays Hallowe'en or Halloween is more about carving pumpkins and 'trick or treat' which just wasn't around when I was a child in the late 50s and early 60s. I do remember we sometimes used to carve out a swede or sugar beet and put a candle inside to make a lantern but I remember more Mischief Night and Bonfire Night in our village. Bonfire night then was more about the bonfire than the fireworks although we would probably have a little box of fireworks with the usual Roman Candles, Catherine Wheels, Rockets, Jumping Jacks and Bangers. We always had a packet of sparklers too. Bonfire toffee would be made and potatoes wrapped in foil and placed at the edge of the bonfire to bake. I can still remember the sounds and smells, the heat of the fire as we stood watching the fireworks, warm in our winter coats, woolly hats and gloves, holding our sparklers and waving them in the dark.
Last night we had lots of little witches, ghosts and vampires knocking at the front door dipping their hands into our witch's hat to pull out their treats (fun size mars bars and milky ways this year) each child took just one bar except one little girl who grabbed four or five so we ran out quicker than we'd hoped for but luckily we had just enough for the last visitors. Phew! The photo above was taken at a nearby garden centre in the coffee shop. Standing next to it was a life size Father Christmas - I cut him off as it is too early to think about him yet - I want to enjoy the seasons and the celebration of Halloween and Bonfire Night and reflection of silence on 11th November - only then will I think about Christmas and the first thing will be making the Christmas pudding on 'stir-up' Sunday. I love Christmas but it starts far too early now and in doing so loses a certain magic.
This morning we had a lovely walk at Jackson's Coppice near Eccleshall. It was so warm walking in the sunshine and seemed more like 1st October than the 1st of November.
After the walk we returned home for a lunch of a very seasonal homemade pumpkin and carrot soup (made with the only pumpkin that made it out of our garden this year) It was very tasty with a cheese topped bread.
Today is my brother-in-law M's birthday and my friend P's birthday. Happy birthday to you both on All Saints' Day.