Last weekend I went to the local shopping centre. It was bedecked with ghouls and ghosties. This weekend someone had hit the big switch marked ‘Christmas’ and a massive tree, baubles galore and a Santa grotto had magically appeared. “What?” said a disturbed only son. “We haven’t even had Bonfire Night yet.” Indeed.
He’s still munching his way through his Halloween loot and in a bit of a huff about a weekend Bonfire Night celebration which we got too a bit late due to the eternal Waiting for Teenagers, meaning we saw about five minutes of fireworks. “Is that it?” he said, waving a short bit of flashing plastic that I bought for three pounds – count them – to make it seem more like we’d been out. “I’m not going next year.”
Our house was down to two Halloweeners this year. Only son and me. Daughter one was too tired due to 6am starts for work; daughter two is too cool – and potentially too dramatically scary – for Halloween and daughter three decided to go out to a friend’s house. My partner says Halloween is not a thing in Barcelona.
Only son went dressed as some sort of swamp creature which mainly involved lots of melting type make-up and a big coat. I was a zombie ghost. The beauty of the costume was it took around five minutes max to put together. I wore the Roman toga from my mum’s birthday and put green zombie make-up round my eyes – to be honest it didn’t look that much different to my normal look. I then covered my face in moisturiser and threw flour on top of it and dolloped some fake blood round my neck for good measure.
I had not, however, reckoned with the fact that the flour would set. So as we wandered round the neighbours my face gradually stopped moving. Only son’s ploy was to ring doorbells and stand with head bowed looking evilly upwards. “I think you need to roar or something,” I stated. He tried a few small roars, but some neighbours roared back and he was a bit frightened of them.
We retired home to do bobbing for apples and watch a scary film [apparently Diary of a Wimpy Kid has a Halloween section].
I then went to pick up daughter three. I was still in my zombie ghost outfit and hoping no-one would stop me. Despite multiple requests daughter three had failed to write down the exact address of where she was. All I had was a road name. “She said to pick her up at the end of the road by the fence at 8pm,” said my partner. It was raining and dark. Daughter three wasn’t in said spot. She also wasn’t picking up her phone as per usual. There was nowhere to park. I went into a siding and got stuck behind another car which began beeping at me. Daughter three rang on a friend’s phone. I was not in the best of moods. “You are grounded for life,” I said, or words to that effect.
We drove home in a ghostly silence.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.