A daily photo-blog of my life as an American transplanted in the UK.
Saturday, 31 October 2009
Year 2 Day 31: Happy Halloween!
This gorgeous arrangement was brought round to us today by Josie from her & David (my in-laws). Included was a card for Matt and I for our first wedding anniversary, which is tomorrow. I made sure to immediately get the roses and chrysanthemums into water and arranged neatly in the vase so I could display them in the window (along with the lovely card from Matt's Aunt Margaret & Uncle Eric). I also used the, now wrinkled, Conkers (Buckeyes) and when I took a step back I couldn't help wanting to catch the beautiful yellow and orange autumnal colours in a photo -- so perfectly in season!
Have I mentioned lately just how much I LOVE having fresh flowers in the front window? Cause I do. A lot. Just saying.
It's official...Halloween is here and in full force...well, as much or little as England lets it get. It's probably one of the bigger culture shocks I have experienced in my time living here. We have had a total of three knocks on our door from trick-or-treaters in the past three days (one each night since Thursday). I didn't bother worrying about having anything to hand out as I have been forewarned what a big deal it isn't here. In fact, the first night we had a knock, Matt peered through the blinds and responded with 'not interested.' I later informed him I found that reaction a bit odd since I would expect that to be given to someone selling Avon or trying to get you to donate money. But that is just the thing, I'm finding people here just aren't interested. So the remaining knocks at our door we have just ignored -- which makes me (as an American) feel slightly guilty unfortunately.
You see, in America, Halloween IS a big deal and ISN'T as random as it seems to be here. I remember a specific night being designated as 'Beggar's Night' depending on the city where you lived...not just rogue costumed beggars on the street throughout the week. In America (or at least Ohio) you would check the paper or watch the news to see your city's allotted time for trick-or-treat -- usually something like 6-8pm, or similar. Alternatively, you could take your children to an event at your church or local shopping mall and they could trick-or-treat there as well.
Here? Not so much. No designated times. No designated days. And likely, not much traffic overall in terms of ghosts & goblins inconginito with pillow cases begging for a sugary treat.
While I appreciate it's just not how things are done in the UK, and the experience I am familiar with is very "American," I still think it's a bit sad that it's nowhere near the same. I mean, I used to LOVE the anticipation each year of knowing I had a costume of my very own that I would get to wear proudly -- Strawberry Shortcake, Beanie Baby Cow, and even a VW Bug being towed by AutoTech Towing company (an old college fave and inside joke) to name a few. Memories also included my friends and I working out the best routes to canvass the neighbourhood so that you hit up the house that gave out the full-sized candy bars at just the right time and avoided the ones that would disappoint you with pennies or toothbrushes and mint gum. Then there was the end of the night where you would return with all your findings so you could compare and do 'the tradeoff' with friends and siblings for your favourite sweets.
I just don't understand how this is not appealing here and it's one custom that I want to make sure our little one definitely will not be missing out on.
::prepares to book flights to the US for Halloween in the forseeable future, just in case::
After two and a half years in a long-distance relationship, I packed my life of 29 years into 21 boxes and moved to England to marry and be with my husband, Matt. Now I'm reveling in the youth of my 30s in Great Britain, supply-teaching in primary schools near Birmingham and enjoying newlywed life, being a mommy, and all the surprises they bring!