Oh, for a proper pumpkin bucket!


My favorite Halloween was 2004, when the CMU crew did “adult trick-or-treating” through the neighborhood in Pittsburgh. We all dressed up, and paraded around to our various apartments. At each place a signature cocktail was served (the treat bit). I’m pretty sure we all drank cider at my apartment, but I don’t remember.  I have to say, my costume of the Virgin Mary combined with Alex’s costume of a Pimp made us a great couple. (Although I did lose my Baby Jesus several times throughout the night.)  There were a lot of great costumes, including Sarah as the unibrow’d Frida Kahlo, Claire and Erin arriving as figures-of-speech (“don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” and “a wolf in sheep’s clothing, respectively) and Gary’s son Tyler dressing up as Harry Potter.

Although I know that no Halloween can ever compare to that night, I’ve been pretty disappointed by the lack of Halloween-ishness here in the UK. There are hardly any decorations anywhere. There are no piles of candy in the stores. There are no ghostly cobwebs decorating the office.  I brought in a tiny pumpkin to decorate my desk, and everyone commented about how “American” that was!  I also purchased a pumpkin bucket and some candy for the kitchen area of the office. But I’m pretty disappointed, because while technically the pumpkin bucket is orange with a black face, it doesn’t look right. It’s not the same! It’s sort of close, but not really.

This is what a PROPER (US) pumpkin bucket should look like.

This is the UK bucket. Clearly they are missing the concept. (HINT: it's supposed to look like a pumpkin!)

Don’t get me wrong, the holiday IS celebrated here, but many people look on it as an Americanization, and therefore refuse to participate. I have seen a number of articles in the paper about how evil it is to bow to corporate America, and how the UK should celebrate All-Hallows Eve in a more “traditional” way. I think the problem is that there is no “traditional” celebration … it’s just another night.

Last night my mom told me that there is snow in the mountains of Colorado. Which sounds just about right. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to go as a princess for Halloween, only to end up wearing snow-pants under my dress. (How tacky!) Well, actually, I always wanted to go as a SPACE princess, which is much more complicated and probably deserves a post of its own. My mom always made the best costumes … I’ll never forget the time when my brother went as Encyclopedia Britannica!  One year we both decided to go as Star Trek people (and I can’t believe I’m admitting that) and we put the whole costumes together and everything. We even carved communicators out of chunks of wood and painted them silver.  Or when I went as a pack of bubble gum and my brother went as a box of nerds. I wore a bright pink hat, and he wore a red balaclava (to look like the candy, of course).

The weather here is definitely turning colder, but no snow yet. The sun is setting early, and it’s dark in the mornings now. But I’ve been told that I can’t complain about the weather, because it is the one thing that makes England “English”. On Sunday … Halloween proper …  Alex and I will probably be packing his suitcase for the trip to New York. We might have a spare bag of candy in case there are any trick-or-treaters, but I doubt we’ll see anyone. Darn it. Guess we’ll have to it eat it all ourselves!

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Posted on 29/10/2010, in Family Stuff, Silly British Things and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. About the tea: I notice that it is ‘tips’ tea: the LEAST flavorful part of the leaf. YES !! It’s true – there is a lot more flavor in the rest of the leaf, and if people would only go back to making an old fashioned POT of tea, and strain the leaves, they would probably realize what REAL tea tastes like vs dishwater trying to be tea . . .

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