Remember, remember the 5th of November . . . .
It's much easier to forget it here. Living in America, it is all Halloween, and to a remarkable degree. People decorate their houses with Halloween lights, pumpkins and blow up ghosts; they hang up skeletons and put gravestones in their front gardens, sometimes with parts of bodies protruding above ground. Trick or treating seems to be the biggest night of the year, with everyone out on the streets in costumes carrying sack-fulls of sweets ("candy") that they collect from one house to the next. It's an amazing spectacle and although I find it all somewhat bizarre, there are things about the evening I like, not least the community-feel. In spite of the supposedly dark theme, it's a very friendly kind of evening. For the last two years, Viola went out with Lauren while I stayed in to give out the "candy". This year, Viola stayed in and I went out with Lauren, and enjoyed chatting to some new friends while we walked around the "neighborhood".
Nevertheless, I find that I really miss bonfire night. We always celebrated it in England, with a few fireworks in the back garden, and some hot food from the barbecue to keep us warm. But here, the day goes by without comment, except among expats. We can't light a bonfire in the garden, and if we tried we wood probably set the woods on fire, especially in the current drought conditions where everything is as dry as bone. And we can't let off fireworks. Here, fireworks are for the 4th of July, and you need a special license to let them off any other time of year.
We might be tempted to fire up the barbecue at least, and to think fond thoughts of England while we eat our food. Oh, and there's the second part of a particularly good Sarah Jane Adventures to look forward to tonight, and that should keep us happy.
Monday, 5 November 2007