But wait! This time I’m not going to post disgusting pictures of me in my witches garb. At least I don’t think so. Those of you who have been with me for a while will no doubt recall the post-Halloween blog from last year. I won’t do that again, I promise. But I am invited to a Halloween party again this year (same hosts), so there may be certain…expectations. I’m not really sure I want to live down to them.
The party is themed this year. It’s to be held at Hogwarts. Guests are free to attend dressed as muggles if we wish. (Those of you who are not au fait with Harry Potter may want to step out and make yourself a cuppa for the next few minutes.) Anyway, I have been wondering witch of my personas to take to the party. (I hope you noticed the little word joke. That was placed there to foreshadow the chosen persona.) No, I’m not going as Hazel, last year’s Witch. I’m going as Prunella Plumquat, Spelling Mistress at Hogwarts. (Even my title is a little word joke.)
I have other options. You, of course, know me as The Meandering Matriarch, but I decded taking that persona was too hard; dressing the part is problematic. Likewise, the person most of my neighbors know is altogether too tedious. I’m much more at home with Prunella. As Spelling Mistress, she captures the writerly spirit in me.
Some of you may find it surprising to learn that Halloween parties are even held in Australia. (That would be the Australians among you who are surprised.) It just isn’t the done thing here. Neither is trick-or-treating. I always buy bags of candy bars just-in-case, but I always get have to eat them myself.
For those of you who do live in a Halloween-celebrating part of the world, there is an interesting discussion about what to give the little spooks who come knocking at your door. It comes as a response to the question of giving trick-or-treaters fresh apples from a local orchard. Check it out; it might change your thinking.
The merchants here do try to make a fuss over it, no doubt hoping to generate a little extra off-budget spending, but I think I may have discovered what some of the problem is. A few days ago I was in the supermarket. Just inside the entry was a large display of very handsome pumpkins, perfectly shaped for jack-o-lanterns. This is a pretty remarkable turn-up, actually. (No, I didn’t say turnip. They don’t have a holiday of their own, as far as I know.) We usually don’t even see this kind of orange pumpkin. So I was naturally attracted to the prospect of having one. They were large; basket-ball size. I found the nicest one and hefted it into my cart (called a trolley here, btw).
Now, I have a question for you. I would like to know what you would expect to pay for a pumpkin roughly the size of a basketball. Seriously. This one cost $26. (The Aussie dollar is currently hovering near parity with the $US at the moment, so you don’t even have to convert it.) It occurred to me that perhaps there is a good reason why Australians don’t bother much with Halloween. MM