It seems to me that there are two Halloweens. There is the one with fake-blood covered zombie masks, the jelly sweets in the shape of tarantulas, horror films and teenagers armed with silly string. And then there is my Halloween. Piles of gloriously fat pumpkins, candles flickering, children dressed up as witches or cats, altogether a more gentle affair.

When I flocked through Facebook I enjoyed seeing photos of friends babies and children all dressed up, and was so happy to share the fun this year. Jessica had a little orange pumpkin baby grow to wear!

We had lunch with my lovely sister, at Stewarts, my favourite tea shop. They have started doing a ‘shoppers lunch’ of soup and half a sandwich. Fittingly for Halloween, the soup was pumpkin ghoulish, and it was really delicious. It was really strange being out and about on the last day of October without a coat, but it was such a gloriously sunny and warm day, I really didn’t need one.

After lunch, we hopped on the bus to Maldon to meet mum. The bus stop is just next to the loveliest little florist, the one where my wedding flowers came from, and I couldn’t resist stopping for a look. And having stopped for a look, I couldn’t help but buy a pumpkin which had been hollowed out and used for a vase, filled with flowers of every shade of red. The perfect gift for Mum!

I walked back to Mum and Dad’s house, following the route I used to take from school. We went past the house hat two of our closest friends have just brought, and I was delighted to see that the house next door but one had a little stall outside selling homemade cake and jam!

Back home, mum had decorated the porch with an old tree stump and some pumpkins, and had put a ring of candles in jam jars on the garden. We made our little Halloween bundles as we do every year. They are so simple but the children just love them. One of them told me this year that our house is their favourite! We take squares of crepe paper in black, purple and orange. Each one gets a handful of little sweeties, and is then tied up with raffia. We pop them all in a plastic cauldron, and each trick or treater gets to choose a little package.

We had so many little witches, wizards, cats, ghosts and vampires that we ran out and had to make more! Jessica was fascinated by the proceedings and loved going to the door with me to see the children.

She takes so much joy in little things, and it is really infectious. One of her favourite ‘toys’ at the moment is a satsuma which mum brought round for her the other day. It was wrapped in tissue paper, which she took off all by herself and scrunched up. She loves to latch on to the satsuma and pat at it with her hands. She also loves playing with a little ‘warty’ gourd squash. I love seeing her discovering the seasons through this kind of play. Next year, there will be cinnamon scented play dough!

I hope you had a happy Halloween, with more treats than tricks!






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