This time last year we were just settling into our new home. I was six months pregnant and we were hoping to find a neighbourhood to call our own, one where our children could grow outside of their home as much as within it. Ocean, fresh air, community, cliff walks, wide open streets, playgrounds across the road, kids spilling onto pavements everywhere you look. There was a great well of box ticking going on when we were making the decision to move here because not only did we want a place to dig our roots, we wanted a place to feel like home.
The clincher though, the deal-sealer, the cherry on top, was how our neighbourhood did Halloween.
They did Halloween, our neighbourhood. Oh how they did it. As we bundled our kid out the door on trick-or-treating night last year, almost not going because it was just turning out to be one of those pear-shaped days and anything except for pyjamas was just all too hard, I spent the next couple of hours wandering around in a daze. I was transfixed. I just kept looking at Joel, speechless but for short bursts of “Are you SEEING this?”, “OHMYGOD” and other equally profound statements, a million stars popping out of my eyes from the euphoria.
Not only did everybody make the effort to decorate their homes, to dress up in costume, to blast spooky music, to give out bucket loads of lollies, but people were STOPPING to CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER. All the time.
The older folk would gush over the younger folk. Parents would smile at each other. Neighbours would discuss the elaborate details of decorating (one house had an entire gravesite out the front complete with RIP tombstones). Babies were adored. Older kids would wander off waving glow sticks, safe by the community holding them. It was like I was in my very own version of fantasy land. This was heaven to me.
“We are never moving,” I told Joel. And as we arrived back home long past bedtime, I knew we never would. Joel had the starry eyes, too. The deal was done.
Presenting our second annual pumpkin-carving party, in photos. It’s a pre-Halloween jeer up, thrown the weekend before trick-or-treating night, but really it’s a chance to dress our kids cute, invite our village over and relive our childhood – I mean, celebrate the children’s childhood, in proper style.
Only, as adults, we get to drink rose’ and hold each others babies, so it’s even better. It’s an end-of-year highlight, this Halloween party of ours, the kind of day you never want to end. I loved every second of it.
And this. My fav photos of the day.
Ella: I have chocolate. Oh my god, I have chocolate. Must not draw attention to myself. Must not.
Nope, none of those adults are paying attention. Keep unwrapping. Slowly. Quietly.
Oh my god yeeeessssss.
Oh stuff it, I don’t care about discretion anymore. THIS STUFF IS AWESOME.
And that’s it, done and dusted for another year. Bring on Friday eve. We have glow sticks. We shall be using them.