Hallowe’en Musings

By Emma Pearson

May 25, 2024

Image by Freestocks on Unsplash

31 October 2023

I didn’t know it was Hallowe’en (*) – hadn’t remembered it was Hallowe’en, at least – until I typed in today’s date. But Hallowe’en it is. I should perhaps think of letting my pet sitters back at home know that there will be a stream of kiddies coming to the house expecting sweeties.

Mike and I used to like to do a bit of “education” around Hallowe’en for the (mostly) French kids who lived locally. Such as, requiring that they actually do or say something before holding out their baggy expectantly. Whatever happened to “Trick or Treat”? Not that that has much to do with Hallowe’en, but at least there’s some exchange, some engagement, some reciprocity. Basic skills of interaction. Say hello, or at least yell out “Trick or Treat!” Needless to say, our efforts failed. Never once were we covered with flour, eggs or rotten tomatoes. That would have been evidence of success.

We also liked to explain what Hallowe’en was about. Not even necessarily the actual Origin Story. Just the bit about spooks and ghouls and death and symbols of death. Witches, bats, black cats, skeletons as outfits – good. Princesses, pumpkins and all things cute as outfits – bad. Seriously. Even in rural France, Hallowe’en just ended up being an excuse to dress up as a Disney character and gorge on sweets.

And it really had to be sweets. One year we realised that we could not give out sweets. I am sure it’s because we simply didn’t have sweets at home – save perhaps for the odd Chupa Chups lollipop at the back of the bread bin, gathering stale crumbs. We had lots of raisins, walnut pieces, dried apricots, cashews, etc… But no sweets. Needless to say, even the youngest of kids looked on in dismay as we tried to dole out the snacks made from nature, rather than from E numbers.

Another favourite story is how, choosing to go out on the night itself (possibly to avoid all the back and forth to the front door – along with the dog barking that inevitably accompanies doorbell ringing; perhaps because we really had to go out – I don’t remember now), we decided to leave a bowl of (yes – I confess) E number snacks outside the front door. Aware that some enterprising kids might nick the full bowl, Mike placed a bit of a challenge in the path of imminent sugar spiking, and put the sweetie bowl close to the cat flap. The cat flap where Black the dog pokes his head out when people come to the door. That would give people a fright!

A bona fide, noble fright for Hallowe’en. Excellent.

Oh Mike was quite wicked when it came to Hallowe’en. Truly wicked. Deliciously wicked.

(*) I was going to write about something completely different, using one of Megan Devine’s weekly prompts. It was going to be called “Still, Always”. It was going to be about missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing missing. But like I said, I wrote out the date, and remembered it was Hallowe’en, and went down another dark alley.

About Emma Pearson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *