Seasonal

HALLOWEEN

Ok so I promised a Halloween blog post and here it is, in all its glorious ghoulishness!
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Halloween at our house is as big an occasion as Christmas, it is HUGE! We love the fact that we can do something special for all the neighbourhood children and scare a few of the grown-ups along the way!

We spend at least a day dressing the outside of the house with all manner or scary props and then on Hallows eve the floodgates open and the entire neighbourhood is filled with ghosts, ghouls, zombies, werewolves, spiders and everything equally scary!

Our exterior decorations have grown over the years, we started out with just a few bits like cobwebs and do not enter tape we bought at the likes of Wilkinsons etc but our first significant purchase was “Bones”.  He is our static life sized ghoul who holds a steaming goblet which changes colour. My partner bought an outfit to match and so the pair of them stand at the front of the house. One obviously isn’t going to move but the other will and my goodness he’s made some people jump over the years! We’ve added to Bones by way of a few floating ghosts which come to life when they hear a sound so again, when Bones and my partner are stood still they are silent but when the Trick or Treaters knock on the door they come to life and are quite terrifying! We have bubbling cauldrons, skeleton dogs and cats, bats and gravestones.   Another thing we tend to do is open the door VERY loudly and quickly, again this is something most people don’t expect, and even those returning year upon year don’t seem to remember and they jump!

Vampire Costume
Inflatable wings Vampire costume

My eldest has been a number of different devilish things for Halloween; A werewolf, the scream character, but my favourite was a vampire with inflatable wings! Super cute!  Now he’s nearly a teenager he’s gone off the idea of going out trick or treating (apparently it’s not cool!) so no doubt this year he’ll just be joining in the sweet eating at home!

My outfit is custom made by my fair hands! I created a corpse bride outfit made from a second hand wedding dress purchased from ebay! I absolutely LOVE it and have roamed the streets with my son on many a hallows eve! Face and body painted the lot!  I adore Tim Burtons the Corpse bride and I can’t wait till George is big enough so I can wear my outfit and do it all over again!!!

Our pumpkin carving is also a huge event in our house and generally involves the entire kitchen being taken over with carving tools, buckets and drills etc. My partner favours a more mechanical technique, a Dremel, for carving intricate designs, I prefer the more traditional approach but I must admit I was tempted last year to give the Dremel a try! We’ve done some lovely designs over the years, granted none of us will win a turner prize but I think they’re great.

We hand pick our Pumpkins from Maxeys Farm Shop Pumpkins, their pumpkin field is phenomenal! They make complete event of it with Pumpkin Bouncy castles, a BBQ, even a Halloween Shop.  Their Pumpkins are great, very reasonably priced and the fun really is in the picking!

All our carved pumpkins stand pride of place outside the front of the house cordoned off so no one can get burned by the candles. I also like to make a mean Pumpkin soup with the leftover carvings too!

Halloween is such a great night! Living on such a large estate I love that it starts off slowly with the really little ones who are just adorable in their cute Halloween outfits (We’ve already got George a few outfits including a Pumpkin, Ghostbuster and my favourite Harry Potter even though he won’t be going out this year!) We always try to be as friendly and inviting as we can with the little ones as we don’t want to absolutely terrify them BUT as the night goes on the mood generally gets scarier and scarier until all that’s left are the teenagers and in the end they usually poop their pants too!

We’ve hosted neighbourhood parties on Halloween which included apple bobbing contests and other games but after the marauding masses subside it’s our Halloween tradition that as a family we always have Hotdogs, cake and sweeties! It’s a tradition that I love and will continue to do with my children (and in lots of time hopefully grandchildren) as long as I am able!

When it comes to the Trick or Treats we always opt for treats and usually end up spending a small fortune on Sweet shop favourites such as Drumstick Lollies, Refreshers etc etc.

So when it comes to Halloween get your best scary outfit on, and have a great time!

Be safe, take a grown up and our main rule is ONLY knock on the houses with Pumpkins – Those are the ones who want to join in the fun!

Seasonal

Colours of the season: Autumn

Now you’ll probably hear me say I love every season, and it’s completely true, I do, but I love them each in very different ways.

I truly do LOVE Autumn though.  What does it for me is the gorgeous light, the rich intense colours and the spectacular transformations that happen over the next month or two.
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Autumn, for me feels like a new beginning, strange I know you’d normally associate such a feeling with Spring but for me

it really does! As the heat of the summer subsides, the bleached out landscapes start to turn every glorious shade of copper and gold. The dimming light gently wraps around everything with its warming glow and the slight nip in the air reminds us we are still alive. I simply LOVE it!

When out and about I just adore looking around and seeing how everything’s changing with the season, the colours, the denseness and what was once familiar, adorned with thick rich green foliage, has now become something new and exciting to see.

The once hidden lattice of support for that big green canopy is now revealed in all its magnificent glory and accents of pillar-box Red or Tangerine Orange adorn the hedgerows ready to feed scavengers throughout the colder winter months.

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Acorns and conkers litter the new crispy path underfoot, leaves float gracefully down to the ground as if time is slowing their demise. Roses are hanging onto their final flourish of glory before the first frosts rob them of their blooms and Hydrangeas are changing chameleon like from green to burgundy and then aubergine.

adult beautiful cold face
Autumn is also the time for layers, the lovely thick woollen jumpers can come out of the cupboard and that feeling of warming comfort you’d forgotten returns like an old friend. The rich glorious colours mimicking the great outdoors with Plums, Burgundy’s, Mustards and Browns revitalise your wardrobe and those trusty brown boots get a dusting off and see the light of day once more.

ca0fa6ddbd35b50617e82cf610bd88882e0622c1_84217_1Another luxury of the Autumn wardrobe is wearing my hats and ear warmers again! I simply adore my Pomskii hat and even George now has 2 in his collection.  I also wouldn’t be without my Neoprene lined Aiglé Parcours 2 Iso wellingtons when out on a crisp autumn morning walking the dogs.  I have to say these wellingtons are a total game changer, by far the very best wellingtons I have EVER owned.  They are so warm and comfy, like a favourite pair of slippers, you can walk miles in them and your feet would never notice!

The sunrise and the sunset bring a new broader interest to the skies in autumn. The fiery sunsets shower the evening sky with glorious shades of pinks, oranges and blues and the darker nights revealing their hidden gems twinkling brightly alongside their ever faithful companion the Moon.

The main event in autumn for our household is picking our Pumpkins for Halloween. We love it and go to a huge local Pumpkin Patch at Maxeys Farm Shop to hand choose the perfect one for each of us. (Yes we each have our own pumpkin.) The sight of a field full to bursting with huge orange globes with children running about, all excited is a wonderful sight to behold. If you do one thing this autumn, go take yourself to a Pumpkin patch and pick a pumpkin. You don’t even have to celebrate Halloween, you could always make yourself some lovely soup with it!

orange pumpkin lot

All in all, autumn is a fantastic season to get outside, feel the change in the air, see the colours and live life.

I will be doing a blog specifically about Halloween nearer the time so keep a look out for that one!