Saturday, November 01, 2014

Yesterday and Today

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.

26 comments:

  1. It's been another glorious day here today, not at all like Nov 1. I don't think I'd even heard of Halloween when I was a child; even if I had I'd have been far too busy collecting wood for the bonfire and making the Guy. You've forgotten the most exciting part though, which was going out the next day to see if you could find where the rockets had landed!

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    1. I still seek out rockets now - the sticks are useful for supporting plants and the plastic bits are put straight into the recycle bin so no animals come to harm by swallowing one. I'd forgotten about the Guy - probably because it was always the boys that made him and pulled him around on old pram wheels:)

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  2. We didn't have Hallowe'en when I was a child either! I suppose they would have gone trick or treating in the towns by then, but in the countryside we didn't go trick or treating and never had anyone knock on the door. I seems strange to me that so many people do it, I don't like it at all! I'm not a fan of any of it. I like to celebrate the seasons and significant dates, but I prefer more subtle, more natural things, not the big commercial ways so many people are keen on.

    It was a lovely morning for a walk :) I've had a day at home, washing and cleaning as it's been really, really windy here but I'm hoping for a little walk tomorrow.

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    1. It did get windy here later in the day - hope you manage a walk today. I hate all the commercialism around these seasonal events and things out of season too - mince pies already in the shops and next door to them hot-cross buns - it just makes me very sad:)

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  3. I just wrote a whole lot before I signed in so I lost it! You have brought back bonfire night memories for me such as the jumping jacks - which I think are banned now - and the catherine wheels that used to fly off the fence post! If we went to a public display it finished with a message coming up at the end to which my Mum said was 'And so now home to bed' only as I got older I realised the message was 'That's all folks!' Lovely looking carrot and pumpkin soup! x

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    1. Oh, Simone - I've done that before too usually when I've written a longer comment and I've been careful over the words - so annoying! I guess jumping jacks have been banned for ages - I remember that my best friend's brothers and the other 'big' boys used to throw them at us little girls to make us run and squeal. Love your story about your Mum's way of getting you home:)

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  4. Some of those pumpkins are quite disturbing!

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    1. They are aren't they? There were loads of them in the centre of a nearby village with an equally disturbing witch hovering over them. A community project I expect:)

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  5. We didn't have Halloween either in Yorkshire -- just Mischief Night, Bonfire Night and fireworks and of course Bonfire toffee, which was the best part of all.

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    1. I'm glad you remember Mischief night too! I always had it in my head that it was the night before bonfire night but now I wonder if it was Halloween - we used to knock on doors and then run or walk around the little paths in neighbour's gardens. Some of the older boys used to remove gates too! I just remember giggling too much in the dark - everyone must have known we were there:)

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    2. Mischief Night was November 4 in my memory too. We used to carve a turnip lantern for hallowe'en but we always made more of bonfire night. I suspect it was because Dad wanted to get rid of all the garden waste in one evening! I remember plot toffee and parkin and baked potatoes done in an old biscuit tin under the bonfire.

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    3. I'm glad my memory wasn't playing tricks - I was convinced mischevious night was 4th November. We all used to join together at our end of the village and have one big bonfire on the allotments so there were always lots of children around having fun:)

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  6. Hi Rosie, I love that Halloween silhouette you spotted. I've had fun decorating our window with back paper decorations......and I've bookmarked the one you shared for next year....if I remember :0)
    Happy Sunday
    jacquie x

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    1. Hi Jacquie - it is a super collage isn't it? It completely filled one wall of the cafe - I love the bats you made for your halloween wall.:)

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  7. Hi Rosie,

    Sweet memories of Bonfire Night - I can almost feel the heat from that fire! We had quite a lot of children calling on Hallowe'en and one Father Christmas....

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend,

    Marie x

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    1. Oh no! Not Father Christmas on Hallowe'en! Glad you had lots of visitors though - it is quite entertaining:)

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  8. Love the Halloween post and that soup look yummy! I have to admit I do love Halloween, for the same reasons as you. x

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    1. The soup was delicious especially after a long walk:)

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  9. We had only 4 Trick or Treaters so lots of leftover candy. Love your jack o'lanterns.

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    1. Thanks - not ours but taken of a display in a nearby village. We didn't have a lantern this year as the one pumpkin we grew was so small it ended up as the soup:)

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  10. Mischief Night was always the day before Bonfire Night in our village - 4th November. We didn't have Halloween at all. My mum was paranoid about mischief night and used to stuff a temmis ball in the letter box to stop anything being pushed through! I went to watch the Basketball on Friday night and only got 1 trick or treater before I went out - so I have lots of fun sized Curly Wurlies to eat!! xxxx

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    1. Now I do remember a firework being put through our letter box one mischevious night when I was a teenager - glad to know my memory is correct on it being on 4th November. Hope you enjoy your Curly Wurlies:)

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  11. It sounds as though you had a good time and the soup was a great touch for this time of year! xx

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    1. Thanks Amy, the soup was delicious:)

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  12. I don't remember Halloween at all as a child but like you Bonfire Night loomed large at this time of year. And Bonfire Night was on Bonfire night the 5th November not on every night for a week before and a week after! I'm glad I grew up when I did - we had more fun then I think. The worst thing I remember was the boys throwing rip raps and making the girls jump and screech:)

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    1. Yes, Bonfire night was the 5th and only the 5th - non of this weekend before or after and certainly never at other times of the year. There was a magic about it with the anticipation which, like Christmas as well, has gone now it all goes on for so long. I guess the rip raps you mention are what we called jumping jacks but they did use to make us little girls run and scream:)

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