Whether you celebrated it last Friday in Kilmarnock or were preparing to get dressed up this week, I hope you had a good Halloween. When I was wee, I always used to look forward to this time of year because it marked the start of everything that we celebrate in the final months of the year.
Halloween seemed a bit different 30 or so years ago, though. Lanterns are almost all made out of pumpkins these days whereas the traditional Scottish ones were carved from turnips. I also remember knocking on strangers’ doors going guisin, something which, quite rightly, no one really lets their kids do any more – and when they do go out it seems to be the americanised trick or treat that gets shouted when you open the door.
At least dooking for apples doesn’t seem to have changed and I hope that at some parties folk are trying to eat sticky buns hung from the ceiling on a piece of string. I was going to try that one myself but I don’t want to make a mess of the carpet!
Once all that was out the way I would always look forward to the 5th of November. We would always get a small box of fireworks to set off in the
garden which every year were, without fail, a complete disappointment. My brothers and I would watch from a safe distance as my dad lit roman candles, rockets and catherine wheels. Each would produce a small colourful display which lasted all of five seconds. The only ones which look a bit longer to burn were the catherine wheels but that’s only because they’d get stuck and set fire to the fence.
And of course after bonfire night it wasn’t long until all the lights went up and Christmas was just around the corner.
Funnily enough, these days I don’t look forward to the last couple of months of year quite so much. Maybe because I’m not bothered about Halloween, can’t stand the bangs from fireworks and dread the approaching festive season because I’m usually skint. Not to mention the fact that it’s cold and dark.
I’m not going to get downbeat though, in fact I’ve already started counting down to the next thing I’m looking forward to – March 31, 2013 when we can put the clocks forward again and start thinking about summer!