01 November 2008

Trick or Treat

We live in a small cul-de-sac off a fairly busy road in London. There are 32 houses in the cul-de-sac and everyone knows everyone else by name. Quite rare by any standards, let alone in somewhere as large as London. The children all play with one another and are in and out of one another's' houses. It was great when Kay was growing up, because, as an only child, she always had someone to play with at the click of a finger at any time of day. There is a new generation of children now since Kay outgrew such things - out playing on their bikes, pushing toy prams, playing football. The cul-de-sac is a village all of its own and we are quite separate from the goings-on in the main road. Halloween is always a special time here, when all the cul-de-sac children go around in a large clump knocking at doors to trick or treat. The grown-ups go round with them, keeping a safe distance so as not to destroy their child's feeling of independence, yet watching over them in case they fall into the wrong hands. In the past, when Kay was little, I was known to host small dinner parties for the children before the tricking and treating commenced. On the menu would be bloody eyeballs (scoops of water melon), followed by dead man's fingers (sausages) with worms in blood sauce (spaghetti in tomato sauce). Kay and I found one of the home-made menu-cards yesterday while we were searching for the battery-lit pumpkin. Before it got dark, we prepared a basket full of chocolate mini bars to hand out to any callers that might come by and hung the plastic pumpkin on the front door.

At seven o'clock yesterday evening, then, Kay was getting ready to go out to a teenage party at a friend's house. All black dress, high heels and red lipstick. Not a pointed hat or white sheet with holes for her. Definitely not cool. Suddenly the doorbell rang. We opened the front door to find about twenty monsters, ghosts and ghouls standing on our doorstep. They ranged from those who could barely toddle and still in nappies to those who were at the age of eleven or thereabouts. All looking fabulously scary and holding out bags for their treats. Their parents stood much further back, shivering in the chilly night. Wanting them to work a bit for their treats, we playfully asked the group what they would do, if we did not give them anything. A little witch, not much older than four with blonde ringlets, acted as spokesperson at the front of the group.

"We would trick you", she shouted. The others all nodded and giggled in agreement.

"So what would that involve?", we asked.

The little blond witch thought long and hard, biting her bottom lip, and then blurted out with all the aplomb of the Godfather delivering his sentence.....

"I'd say BOO".

Her little face was a picture. In fact, I'd say a real treat. The chocolate bars were passed around.

15 comments:

DogLover said...

SCARY !!!

Millennium Housewife said...

That was enchanting Rosiero, happy Halloween! MH

laurie said...

that's thinking on her feet!

glad the spooks came by. we had about 50 kids over the course of two hours. quite fun.

Ellen said...

Happy Halloween! Lovely memories of past Halloweens and I enjoyed your tale of last night's visitors. x

aims said...

You'll think me a terrible scrooge when I tell you that we turn out our lights and keep the gate firmly closed so as not to get any children.

The barn stood empty for 4 years before I bought it. I could never afford candy when I was trying to manage on my own with my nephew. So we started doing that right away.

It is a very long walk up our sidewalk and I've been told just recently by a friend that he never came to this house as a child - just too scary.

The neighbours tho? He builds a graveyard out on his boulevard and has witches and skeletons and fog machines. We sit in the dark kitchen and watch the kids 'bravely' making their way up through the graveyard and inside where even scarier creatures await in the dark. It is much fun!

Sometimes I feel like we are missing out - even now that treats can be afforded - but watching the neighbours having so much fun really helps.

Fern said...

Hi Roseiro,
I have just had a big catch up with your blog and see the roller coaster ride continues towards the inevitable sad conclusion. Glad you were able to take a break from it and had such a fun Halloween.

rosiero said...

Aims - not at all. I tell my elderly mother to stay inside, not open her door and keep the lights low so people think there is noone home. Fortunately where she lives, she does not get any children calling by. Halloween is not for the elderly and has only really taken off here in a big way the last 15-20 years. When I was growing up we had none of the Halloween razzmatazz that happens here now.

April said...

Cute :-))

Elaine said...

Doncha just love 'em!

Nota Bene said...

I love that....you must live in a far more civilised part of town than we ever did. No treats? Egg in your face!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Lovely story Rosiero and what a nice area you live in. It used to be a little bit like that where I used to live in Richmond but I think it has all changed now.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I take it now trick and treating is common in Britain? We have lived in Canada now for 19 years and I know we didn't do trick and treating back then.........

Gill in Canada

rosiero said...

Gill. When I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, Halloween celebrations were unheard of. It was something they did in the USA but not here. Gradually it has crept in, so that for the last 20 years it has been big business with shops selling the clothes and other paraphenalia, the pumpkins etc. The trick or treating tends to be a bit hit and miss. We do it in our cul-de-sac but only by prior agreement. My mother's area tends not to have anything at all.

Expat mum said...

Bless! I am impressed with your erstwhile hostessing. I thought about having a little party for the neighbours but since I'm useless at baking cup cakes, I couldn't get past having to decorate them as pumpkins and bats etc. Maybe next year.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Hi Rosiero - loved your story. I love to see the children at Hallowen and usually dole out all sorts of goodies. Sadly missed it this year as we were still away so really enjoyed reading about your visitors.

A x