The other difference this year was that my mother is here so she got to witness the whole shebang. Now, it must be stressed that she doesn't believe in Halloween. (Not quite sure how you can not believe in something that happens irregardless, but there you go.) Despite this vehement disbelief however, she was impressed with my interior and exterior Halloween decorations. Oh yes. Bats hanging from the chandelier, bits of skeletons in the front garden, illuminated eyeballs hiding in the rosebush and a witch sign at the door. (Come on - I have a nine year old to entertain. It took a whole weekend to set everything out.)
Come the day, the Ball & Chain and I went to the annual school Halloween parade. Our SIXTEENTH consecutive one, if anyone's interested. The Little Guy, otherwise known as Broadway Joe, stayed in character throughout, until I told him that this required an inside howl. He had a homemade costume - t-shirt ripped down the middle with a big furry chest sticking through, furry arms sewn onto the t-shirt sleeves, and a fur cap complete with plastic pointy ears. The brown face make-up had to be kept to a minimum so as not to terrify the four year olds. We also bought long claw finger tips (which severely hampered the gathering of candy) and a set of fang like teeth. Because he has never known a silence he can't fill, the teeth were half popping out of his mouth most of the time, making him look more giant sewer rat than wolf-boy.
In the evening, we got bowls of candy ready for the trick or treaters. While I manned the house, the 9 year old went round the streets with dad and grandma who, ready for inclement weather carried plastic beakers of pale ale and G&T respectively. (Trick or drink, as it's known round these parts.) We all then sat on the front stoop (another Americanism for you) for another 90 minutes or so, greeting neighbo(u)rhood kiddies and the odd non-wearing hoodie.
I had to laugh when I challenged one group of young costume-less laddos -
"Where's your costumes?" I asked.
"I'm Jay-zee" says one.
"I'm Kanye" says the next one.
"I'm Cee Lo".
And so on.
And who says teens don't get into the spirit?
Oh yes, he did. Went to school in the morning like this, and then got the bus to his voice lesson.
Can you imagine this vision taking the seat next to you on the Number 46?