I heartily dislike Halloween. I always knew it had its roots in Paganism and then early Christianity, but certainly when I was growing up it wasn’t celebrated – if celebrated is the right word for scaring the wits out of people and demanding sweets with menaces. And all the years I lived in Spain, we marked the following day, 1st November, El Dia de los Muertos – The Day of the Dead, by going to the cemetery and enjoying a bank holiday. I grew up with Guy Fawkes – although I accept that burning an effigy in remembrance and celebration – that word again! – of someone actually being burned alive now seems somewhat barbaric to me. But that aside, I love and adore fireworks – nothing beats the thrill of writing your name with a sparkler! – and the hot punch and potatoes and chestnuts roasting in the bonfire that goes with it, plus the fun of making your own Guy. (Although we were never allowed to do Penny for the Guy. “What will people think? It’s like begging,” my mum would always say.) And every year we would have a history lesson about the Gunpowder Plot and although I knew it off by heart I loved it because history was always my favourite lesson. Today I’ve read a very informative article by Josephine Liptrott http://www.yuppee.com/2014/10/31/the-interesting-thing-about-halloween/ which gives an in-depth explanation of the history behind Halloween which I found fascinating. I think my view of it is coloured by the awful American phrase Trick or Treat. Yeuk! I still prefer Guy Fawkes but will look at Halloween differently from now on. And anyone daring to knock tonight will get short-shrift!
Mind you, it’s hard giving short-shrift or doing anything much with one arm. I have really come to appreciate having two this week as, post-op, I’ve struggled with the little, everyday things such as putting on my knickers, washing-up, opening a bag of crisps, buttering toast, unscrewing the coffee jar. Even typing with one hand becomes tiring and tedious, as does getting out and about. I can’t drive for another five weeks at least, so bus and train it is. And it’s been a real eye-opener to see how unaware people are – I lost count on Saturday of the number of people who bashed into me or let doors go on me even though they could see I am wearing a huge purple sling. Most of them are young women with pushchairs, talking on phones or their unruly offspring left to their own devices and run around unchecked. One woman on the 193 bus even tutted when I asked to sit down. Silly me! I hadn’t realised she’d bought a ticket for her shopping! And yesterday, on my way to a lovely lunch with The Daughter – who is looking lovelier and more glam by the day – an idiot who decided to run down the up-escalator at West Ham Station, stumbled and crashed straight into me.
BUT – many family and friends have been great and have rallied offering all sorts of help about the house and with lifts for which I am very, very grateful.
Single All The Way is now out in paperback as well as on Kindle http://www.amazon.co.uk/Single-All-The-Elaine-Spires/dp/0992867215/ref=tmm_pap_title_0 and reviews have been very positive so far. It can be read as a stand-alone, but is the final book in the Singles’ Trilogy, of course. It makes a lovely stocking-filler for your bookworm friends or a nice Christmas treat to yourself. And that way you’ll be in on the #taramasalata joke!