Saturday, 30 October 2010

Happy Hallow'een

Hallow'een in the UK? When I was a kid it plain didn't exist; bonfire night was the biggie. Everyone had their own back-garden party with fireworks, guy and an unspoken who's-built-the-biggest-bonfire competition. Then the kids set-to, baking potatoes wrapped in tin foil, burnt fingers stirring pans of beans with mini sausages over the bonfire - what could possibly go wrong?

But sometime in the 1980s the big firework shows came along, everyone got the health and safety paranoia, and with family bonfire parties gone there was a void. The supermarkets didn't need asking twice, and gleefully imported Hallow'een from the US, pushing the usual suspects - witches hats, sweets and other plastic tat. And then the trick or treating started, another US import I didn't ask for. I'm not lovin' it...

Although I mustn't grumble, because Hallow'een's been kind to me: my wife and I got together (not married then, obviously) at a Hallow'een party in 1990 - her cousin was my neighbour, and wanted a lift to London for the party. Since I had a company car I was happy to drive. Odd to think that if I'd had a different neighbour, or just didn't want to drive a 200-mile round trip to a party, life would have been very different. And if my wife hadn't organised for me to ride the Giro as a Christmas present in 2005 I'd never have met the wonderful people who've made Benzina possible. Spooky...

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