Down at the health club there was a spooky-looking witch behind the counter, along with someone who appeared to be covered in blood-soaked bandages. Very healthy looking.
Things went from bad to worse when I made it into the swimming pool. There was a ghastly ghoul sitting atop the life-guard's chair, watching our every movement through sunken eyes. There was absolutely no way I wanted to be rescued by him
- so I kept both feet firmly on the pool bottom, in order to ensure my own safety. Even our aqua-aerobics trainer was wearing a headband with what looked like spiders dancing above her head. It really was most off-putting for those of us who like to
take our aqua-aerobics seriously. And for me.
It can only be Halloween, which has apparently become one of our most observed festivities, second only to Christmas. It has even edged Mothering
Sunday into third place. Sad, that. Mr B snorts that Hallowe'en is an American import and stoutly refuses to celebrate it in any shape or form, ghost-like or otherwise. Mr B is always comfortingly solid in his opinions.
However it is a bit of a pity because I really, really wanted to carve a Hallowe'en pumpkin this year. Especially as I have been following with fascination the amazing efforts of family and friends as posted
on Facebook. As you know, my plan is to spend my retirement taking up activities I have never attempted before. I do accept that when most retirees say something similar, they are talking about taking up marathon running, or bungee jumping or hurling
themselves out of aeroplanes with only a parachute to save them. I am not like them, being (as Mr B likes to remind me, occasionally, when I need to be brought down to earth, figuratively speaking) a wimp of the first order. But there are other
activities which don't involve great heights, falling, jumping, extreme physical effort or leaving the ground. Carving a Hallowe'en pumpkin certainly comes into this category.
It's only been in
the last dozen or so years, I reckon, that this pumpkin carving craze has taken off. When the Darling Daughters and the Son-And-Only were young, our Hallowe'en activity centred on dressing up in old sheets and gliding down to a field just outside the
village. There a massive bonfire would be blazing and teachers from the village primary school, organisers of the annual event, would spoon out "witches brew" (tasting deliciously like tomato soup) into the mugs we had helpfully brought with us. It was
all very quaint and old-fashioned and nobody had ever heard of Trick Or Treat.
Ah, Trick Or Treat. Had Mr B been a little more positive about my desire to carve a pumpkin, we could have set him
(her? it?) outside our door and bought some fun-sized chocolate bars for anyone who calls at our door this evening. Mr B says, no, we are going to do what we usually do, which is to turn out all the lights and hide under the table when anyone rings the
door bell. For all the world as if we are living through the Great Depression and trying to evade the rent collector.
You don't have to be a spook to tell that he's not exactly entering into
the spirit of the occasion.....