I am not a fan of Halloween. Quite the contrary.
However on this night, when my door bell rings, I attempt to go through the appropriate motions with at least a little feeling. I pretend to be terrified by the little ghouls and ghosties, I offer hypo-inducing sweets to the adorables in their costumes, I encourage and praise. But in truth I hate it. There are several reasons. When I get home after a hard day on the coal face I don’t want visitors however cutsie. I want to lounge in my faux caribou negligee with matching mules and eat a giant-sized bag of maltesers without interruption. And I am a scaredy cat, frightened of her own shadow half the time. Coming from a city where a knock on the door on All Hallow’s Eve often meant being faced by a trio of pubescent youths, demanding in their crackling voices “Trick or Treat” which meant “Treat or beware”. No less, there is all the wasteful tat sold for the event, the corporate marketing machine demanding the purchase of rubbish that will be no doubt be binned as soon as night is over.
But for fear of being thought an old curmudgeon, each year, instead of escaping to the pub, or perhaps sitting in darkness lain siege to in our own home, I buy half a hundred weight of treats and wait. When no one comes, like today, I am offended. Seriously, there is no way to win.
Sometimes I make things up, that is true. In my defence it is more “getting carried away” than “bare face fabrication”. This red hot poker is called Kniphofia ‘Happy Halloween’. Just the kind of thing that I could have invented. It is indeed fact, according to RHS Rosemoor. On reflection, there is always the possibility that they invented the name for the occassion. How could I suggest such a wicked thing! Must be something in the air tonight.