Posts Tagged ‘halloween’

Sounds like the name of a band….😁

If I remember correctly, I think there is a band with a similar name….Smashing Pumpkins?? Which sounds just as much fun, albeit a lot messier than carving pumpkins 🎃

Its amazing how many British traditions we have been introduced to since living here for the last 19 years.

Although we came late to the tradition and have only carved a pumpkin once before, now that my grandson is older we’ve introduced him to the tradition and the fun of carving a pumpkin for Halloween.

Growing up in the UK, I’m pretty certain that this won’t be the last time we carve a pumpkin, and it will become a new family tradition.

My daughter bought the pumpkins a few days ago and yesterday we sat in the garden, thankfully it wasn’t raining, and carved our pumpkins.

Daddy of course honoured the boobee with his name and I went for the more traditional scary face, and for good measure and keeping it contemporary, I also carved out the word Covid…🤪🤪 Its current news, so I had to.

We left them outside to start drying out, a hopeless endeavour since the weather is so grim, but they were sufficiently dried by evening. Daddy sourced some candles and lights off, candles in and we had our ‘scary’ Halloween.

The boobee was more interested in retrieving the candles and ‘blowing’ them out than the actual pumpkin faces….🤔🤔

A lovely family day.

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I was hoping to meet with @TheSockMob today (31.10.10) and join them for their Temple tour; sadly it was not to be 😦 Time was not on my side and the situation did not allow.  However all was not lost and despite the change of plans there were a great number of things to do in London today in celebration of Halloween. Since Kings Cross St Pancras was the closest to home and as they were hosting an event I decided to stop off there. Am I so glad I did.

a 'Wicked' Halloween at St Pancras International - London

the stage show ‘Wicked’, together with The National Woodland Trust were hosting an event with face-painting for the kiddies, and a singing competition amongst other fun things to do. Along the way I met two delightful young ladies who were all dressed up and into the swing of things!!

wicked 🙂 - all dressed up for the 'Wicked' Halloween event at St Pancras on 31.10.10

   St Pancras is a fabulous venue in itself and of course home to the Eurostar.  The concourse is huge, very airy and bright with the fabulous roof that recently featured in ‘Climbing Great Buildings’ presented by Jonathan Foyle.

light, bright and airy

St Pancras is a meeting place and a leaving place and thousands of travellers pass through the halls daily. There is a fabulous giantsize sculpture of  ‘lovers meeting’

The Meeting Place - a sculpture by Paul Day

 and to my delight I came across a statue of Sir John Betjeman.

Sir John Betjeman

 Co-incidently he lived in a house not far from where I live and went to school in the area. I stopped off to watch the singers and then to my delight Lee Mead gave us a final rendition.  The cast of Wicked were on hand and had performed earlier.  After the show the cast and Lee Mead were giving autographs and even though I am not at all a person who stands in queues to get autographs….today I made an exception.

Lee Mead - autographs galore

The queue was …….long!!! So I decided to meander about and take photos whilst the queue moved through with the intention of joining it as it got shorter.  In due course I headed to the end of the queue only to be told by a delightful young lady that the queue was now closed! Really???? Mmmm!! I looked pleadingly at her and finally she relented and allowed me to squeeze in! heehee

And so 15 minutes later ( *raised eyebrows* ) I finally got to the table and there only inches away was…’Joseph’ aka Lee Mead  ! whoa!!! how exciting.

it's 'wicked' to be green - my autographed bag

The story behind my delight is that many many years ago when ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ first performed on stage in London I was desperate to see it, but South Africa is over 6,000kms away from London and it was an impossible dream.

Then I came to live in London and suddenly anything was possible.  A few years on and there were plans to re-stage the play and auditions began to find the new ‘Joseph’.  The winner was Lee Mead.  One day I mentioned to my daughter how much I would love to see him on stage…..and voila that Christmas in my stocking was a ticket!!! dreams do come true.

So even though I did not get to tour Temple, I did get to see Lee Mead which was a totally unexpected surprise and I also got to visit St Pancras for my 3 days in London blog.  I have already been a passenger on the Eurostar; in 2005 when my daughter and I went to Paris and again in 2008 when I went to Paris again for a seminar with Keith Cunningham. Awesome!

Eurostar at St Pancras

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Jack-o'-Lantern on Halloween

Halloween (or Hallowe’en) is an annual holiday observed on October 31, primarily in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints’ Day, but is today largely a secular celebration.

Common Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties, carving jack-o’-lanterns, ghost tours, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, committing pranks, telling ghost stories or other frightening tales, and watching horror films.

The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the “lighter half” of the year and beginning of the “darker half”, and is sometimes regarded as the “Celtic New Year”.

The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family’s ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.

Another common practice was divination, which often involved the use of food and drink.

The name ‘Halloween’ and many of its present-day traditions derive from the Old English era
The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even (“evening”), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Up through the early 20th century, the spelling “Hallowe’en” was frequently used, eliding the “v” and shortening the word. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556.

thanks to wikipedia for the photo and info…..for much more click here

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Hello dear readers,


not just a pumpkin!

Here we are almost at the witching hour of Halloween (ok, so for some of us the witching hour has already come and gone and it is now 1st November……whatever!!! 🙂 🙂   Wherever you are I hope you joined in the fun and got some real great treats.

As for us here in the UK and for our Americans cousins on the other side of the water, midnight is on the way and our trick or treating is yet to come.

And as it approaches do you ever stop to wonder about the what, why or how of Halloween.   Personally I love the idea, I also love the US of A for introducing us to the idea.   Any excuse for a bit of fun is good with me 🙂

I decided to do a bit of research this year, not having stopped to answer the above questions myself in the past and this is what I found:


Halloween (also spelled Hallowe’en) is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31.    It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints.    It is largely a secular celebration but some have expressed strong feelings about perceived religious overtones.

The colours black and orange have become associated with the celebrations, perhaps because of the darkness of night and the colour of fire or of pumpkins, and maybe because of the vivid contrast this presents for merchandising. Another association is with the jack-o’-lantern (named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called ignis fatuus or jack-o’-lantern).   Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties, ghost tours, bonfires, visiting haunted attractions, pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.”

I am totally into things that go bump in the night, scary movies, ghost stories, haunted castles, being scared witless and having fun watching other people being scared witless;  so this type of event is right up my alley.

I was watching ‘Autumn Watch‘ on BBC2 last night and they showed Simon in Abney-Park Hackney Cemetery wandering about at night, which is so cool.  Abney-Park became the first non-denominational Victorian Cemetery.

so if you are into being scared witless, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night 🙂 why not venture into your local cemetery tonight, the UK certainly has plenty of really ancient graveyards that should fulfil your wildest nightmares 🙂 then drop by later and leave us a comment on what you got up to!

My thanks to our American cousins for introducing us to this marvellous event.   HAPPY HALLOWEEN

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