So, how was Halloween for you? Do you have a toddler or tween that likes dressing up and seeking candy with menaces (see photos of your children on p23)?
Or have you moved on to the later teen stage, where it is suddenly so uncool to do anything but eat the chocolates. They will, of course, find it super-cool again when they are old enough to blag their way into a club in barely-there sexy scare-wear.
Or did you as an older person living alone dread this past weekend? The constant ringing of the bell, shouting on your doorstep, and the threats of damage — threats that have started increasingly to be fulfilled in recent years. Did you show compliance, with glowing pumpkins and bowls of sweets a-plenty, or did you turn off all the lights and retire to bed early, wishing the night away?
What an odd time of the year — as i’s Mike McCarthy wrote so elegantly on Friday. The ever more popular (or commercial?) feast of Halloween, and our quaint tradition of turning the clocks back, inviting us all to lament we aren’t tortoises for six months of the year. Next, there is that other celebration whose “terrorist” origins it doesn’t do us well to dwell on for too long: Guy Fawkes Night.
If you were to look west in our part of London you might think Guy had come early such is the joyful explosion that is the five-day Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Jain Diwali festival that (this year) began last week. You don’t have to understand the origin of each celebration to feel they mark the passing of those summer salad days, and usher in that run-up to Christmas. I used to hate this time of the year — so unsettling. But now I agree more with the American writer Elizabeth Lawrence: “Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.” That would be a lovely luxury, but at the very least we should all check up on our pets and OAPs.