I hope you did what you do on Halloween, and you did it good. Here it was a pumpkin carving, sugar eating day, with pin the wart on the witch games (see my Dad, his invention).
But I've changed my views on all Hallow's Eve as the years have passed. I've been unequivocally gothic in years gone by - with Halloween almost an affirmation of that type of living. But growth as a person, and some measure of youthful self destruction eradicated, I can still see a celebration of death in life and life in death as being a healthy acceptance and acknowledgement of the cycle of life - all encapsulated in Halloween.
All the spooky get up in the world doesn't hide what the 31st of October is actually about. I once read of the tradition of setting an extra place at your table on the 31st to honour those who are no longer here - that is a gentle kindness to those we miss and have lost. That's my filter for All Hallow's Eve - what is yours?
As a child I holidayed in Dunoon - and I often go back with my family. Where you made happy childhood memories is always bathed in nostalgia and well, rain if it is the west coast of Scotland!
We sidestepped the rain around the town, some of us with wings, and we went down spectacular roads banked with bright orange autumn ferns. And then we came home, caught Roddy Woomble at the local folk club and the Good Food Show for some lovely artisan vinegars. 'Time to Keep' to paraphrase Roddy's new album ( 'Listen to Keep' - Roddy's evocative and beautiful new album title).
I am resolutely not a 'morning person' however being a parent has necessitated that I am present from the very early morning whether I like it or not. I have wished for most of my life that the very early hours of daybreak were my friend, with romantic notions peppering my head of writing before the house awakes, pottering with tea, or dew soaked dog walks in the woods. Writers such as Laurie Colwin can capture these fresh, intensely personal morning activities as something sacred, but truth be told getting up repeatedly at 5 or 6am really just leaves me feeling a bit nauseous.
In saying that I do appreciate the promise in a morning - the optimum time between say 8-10am. Where it is still early enough to feel the whole day spread in front of you with all the magic and excitement that it could hold - the perfect heart of morning.
I keep coming back to that phrase and have been trying to capitalise on those precious hours when I am with the family. Last weekend we careered down country lanes, crushing fallen crab apples under our feet, dappled with the strong autumn sun. It was magical light, we could almost grasp the equidistant rays above our heads. If you look carefully above you can see them framing the moments; nature's signal that every morning is perfect.
The wisdom of having our children's birthdays 90 minutes apart was questioned extensively last week and at the weekend! Two parties, two home made cakes on top of work and everything else felt like hard work. But their faces when they saw said cakes, the quiet seconds hush as candles are blown out, wishes are made and happy birthday sung in loud voices makes it all worthwhile.
My Mum always baked my brother and I's birthday cakes, from that very 70's chocolate button and mandarin cake (do you remember it?) to chocolate trains laden with sweeties and Hansel and Gretal houses - to the most magical, a fairy tale book complete with writing, from a Jane Asher book I think.
I treasure these memories, they made me feel special, secure and loved. I want to do the same for my two where I can. That's why I'm tired but happy this Sunday night - two wee children had really happy birthdays and that's worth any tiredness or stress in my book.
(My very talented friend made the sugar paste fairies, I just made their home! In my hand above is how they looked today - a little bit nibbled and very tired!)
My other half was away all weekend and the kids and I, well despite my worries we managed just fine. He was having the first time away with his own brother for over a decade seeing Roger Waters 'The Wall'.
That rather lovely owl pendant was a small gift for me from Portobello Road Market - somewhere we loved in the past together.
And those words well I'm trying to remember them, they make you think don't they?