Well at least it’s a great excuse to make Chilli Pumpkin soup.

It also has a striking likeness to me as well, especially after I put way too much CHILLI in the soup.

All those eons ago, my childhood was bereft of pumpkins. We mainly had what Dad could grow on his allotment and that was definitely never pumpkins. But he most definitely could grow TURNIPS. Lots of them. Lots of especially tough ones that had the same texture as a cannonball. So it was Turnip lanterns and Turnip soup, turnip with everything. I remember trying the ‘I’m allergic to Turnips’ line, but for some reason my parents didn’t buy into that one…. These days I blame my staggeringly good looks on Turnip poisoning.

Happy days….

So if you are ever having a TURNIP Halloween feast, please let me know, I would love to TURNIP for it.


Halloween has been and gone. A tremendous excuse to watch proper Halloween movies. Scooby Doo and The Muppets. Can’t go wrong with them.

I’m pleased to report Vampires, Werewolves, Ghouls, Goblins, Boris Johnson and U2 where all put off from trick or treating, by the tropical Yorkshire weather.

It’s also a good time to see if those outside Christmas lights which I forgot to to take down 10 months ago, have survived the Yorkshire weather.

So the next school term has started. Sadly without much enthusiasm from either Hawklad or his Muppet Dad. No return to the classroom looks imminent so we continue the school at home project. At least some of the lessons had work supplied. No sign that Hawklad’s work is being looked at but at least there is something for him to do. But what he is looking at is of so little interest to him. Learning for learnings sake. I bet it doesn’t stick in his mind as well as his real interests do. That’s life. That explains why I can remember every line, word for word, in Scooby Doo movies yet I can never remember where I put my car keys. How I can unerringly locate exactly where the chocolate is yet I can’t remember the diet I’m supposed to be sticking to.

Total Selective Recall.


Some things are scary. An old castle on a dark brooding day is definitely scary. Imagine this place at midnight on Halloween. Yep definitely scary. But some sights go beyond that.

A few years back we were living in the city. I was manning the door on a super busy Halloween. A constant stream of trick or treaters. All in fantastic costumes. I felt bad for just wearing jeans and a T-shirt. I had shaved so couldn’t even claim to be a werewolf. The doorbell rang and I opened the door again with a friendly smile. Two little devils looked up at me. Before I had chance to complement the monsters on being super scary, one of the devils screamed and ran off crying. The other devil calmly asked if he could have his brothers treats. With the brave devil chomping on his chocolates I went to apologise to the parent who was stood on the street. The mum just laughed and said her son wasn’t very brave and had screamed at a few masks on the night.

The worry was that I wasn’t wearing a mask.

WOW. And that’s why you don’t get any photos of me. Definitely a face perfect for radio….


Hawklad, does the costume fit?

Don’t know yet Dad!”

I’m waiting for Jason to appear with his chainsaw.

“You might have to wait a while. It’s a tight fit.”

How tight.

Well the trousers are now shorts that don’t get over my knees. The top won’t even get over my head. The mask is more like an eye patch and the strap isn’t long enough to wrap round my head. But at least the plastic chainsaw fits in my hand but it’s kind of like a Swiss Army knife now.”

Oh. That’s your fault for growing so much in a year. It kind of fit last year.

No it didn’t, it was too small last year. Dad does your costume fit. But it’s not even a Halloween one?”

Yes it is number one son. It’s a ghoul.

Dad it isn’t a ghoul. It’s Dr Who Cyberman mask which is supposed to fit a toddler and a black bin liner with holes cut in it.”

It’s a fantastic ghoul costume which I grant you is a little tight.

Fantastic is not the word I would use. How tight

Erm the mask doesn’t even cover my nose and my bum has ripped a hole in the bag. Apart from that it’s good to go.

Shall we give the costumes a miss this year?”

Good idea Hawklad what shall we replace them with?

More chocolate.”

Perfect. But with all those calories I certainly won’t get into next years costume.

Dad who said you were getting the chocolate……”

Halloween or not

It’s the end of October and thoughts turn to Halloween. Well most probably if you are a parent. How to satisfy your young ones urge to join in the fun. From the age of about 5 Hawklad has looked forward to the 31st October. He liked to get dressed up. Maybe go to the school party. Definitely watch a bit of spooky TV. But never Trick or Treating. The thought of meeting strangers ruled that option out. So he’s never been. Actually I have never been. As a child the concept didn’t exist in our area. It was all about carving – not a pumpkin, we used turnips or swedes. A bonfire with jacket potatoes roasting in the embers. The dreaded turnip soup. Seeing what TV had on offer (just 3 channels in those days). Then it was to bed to read a spooky comic under the blankets by the light of a torch.

Trick or Treating really started to get going in our area only in the late 80s. In the last city we lived in, it was very popular. But then we moved into the sticks. The village we now live in has few children. Some years go by without a single Trick or Treater.

So what will 2020 bring. Well a full moon, so let’s hope for some breaks in the cloud.

Well for our little self contained world – it will mostly be the usual. Spicy red soup. Too many mini chocolates and sweets. Outside talks about our top ten monsters. Making up horror stories. We have a tradition that each year we invent a new horror computer game. No technical limitations when the game only ever exists in your mind. Watching cartoon halloween specials. Getting dressed up. Finally watching a couple of horror movies. When he was young that would be ScoobyDoo movies. The last couple of years it’s been old Hammer Horror flicks. This year he’s desperate to step up the horror option. Maybe the first Halloween movie.

Not forgetting Pumpkin Carving. Unfortunately our store has not had them in stock and Hawklad won’t let me go out to buy one. So it’s plan b. Well plan c as the store also failed to have a turnip or swede in. Don’t laugh plan c currently is trying to do mini carvings with jacket potatoes and apples…..

So yes 2020 may have some unique features for us. For many. Trick or Treating would appear to be banned in many areas. Luckily some places are trying to set up stuff for the kids (and parents!). Our village is doing a Halloween Trail. Households are being encouraged to put a pumpkin in the window or by the front gate. Families can then go pumpkin spotting without knocking on doors. So we need Plan D. An apple or potato carving just isn’t going to cut the mustard. At present it’s not a great plan. We have some orange balloons. The plan is to draw faces on the balloon with a think black marker pen. Then we will try to put an LED light or small torch inside the balloon. Then inflate it. What could possibly go wrong…..

Terrible Poetry

It’s Terrible Poetry time thanks to our very own Chelsea Owens. This week the guidelines are

  1. Our Topic is Halloween. Write something SCARY!
  2. As is usual, the Length is up to you.
  3. Rhyming is also up to you. Frighten us with what you do.
  4. Just Make it terrible! Make the very souls of the Wal-mart imps moan in agony and terror at the thought of your verses.
  5. The Rating’s fine at PG-13 or cleaner.

You have till midnight of All Hallow’s Eve, 12:00 a.m. MSTnext Friday morning (November 1) to submit a poem to Chelsea.


I did promise to incorporate some pre-determined words into the poem but to my eternal shame I’ve completely forgotten them. SORRY.


The moon is full

It’s time for blood on the wool

Halloween terror

Your in the wrong place, a deadly error

Knifes sharpen

The atmosphere slowly darkens

The clock ticks

While the madman plays his tricks

This is sick

As bad as the worst horror flick

Witches potion

An unpredictable explosion

Straight from hell

Too horrific for Slasher Motel

Frankenstein creation

A Poltergeist apparition

Beyond X rated

The result is pure evil hatred

All hope is forsake

Dads been trying to bake a SPONGE CAKE

Halloween 3

This Halloween has to make our son happy. Failure is not an option. Best way to achieve that simple goal was to let him choose what spooky activities we will fill our time with. At the start of the week he came up with his list.

  1. Make a Pumpkin Head. But this year Dad let’s try not to make the poor soul look like Donald Trump. That’s just not fair on any fruit. *** I thought it was a vegetable. Every day is a school day.
  2. Halloween Costume. Dad I think we should try and go for a Freddie look. We don’t buy a costume we see what we can rustle up. I guess the mad dog will want his party hat on again.
  3. Watching as many Scooby Doo DVDs as we can find. Finish off with his three favourites. Boo Brothers, Kiss and Witches Ghost.
  4. Watch a Hammer Horror movie. These are atmospheric but relatively tame these days.
  5. Have a Lego building competition. This year it’s who can make the best haunted castle.
  6. Make a spooky music playlist.
  7. Make up a Halloween story. Dad this year I think it’s a couple of kids stuck in a scary computer game.
  8. Play our two Top Trump Monster packs.
  9. Any TV has to be spooky related like Ghostbusters.
  10. Monster knockout competition to decide the greatest ever horror character.
  11. Apple Bobbing
  12. Late night reading in the garden of Hound of the Baskervilles.
  13. All dog walks have to be after dark.
  14. Build a garden monster out of what we can find lying around. Then leave it for nature (or the dog) to dispose.
  15. Halloween treasure hunt in the garden to find hidden objects like chocolate bars.
  16. See what spooky food and drinks we can invent.
  17. Eat the cookie/biscuit game. Put a cookie on your forehead and then without using your hands try to somehow get the cookie into your mouth and it’s the first person to eat the cookie wins.
  18. Jelly Bean roulette. We have stocked up on some new flavours. Cat food, Snail, Earthworm, Earwax, Squid.
  19. Make Pumpkin Chilli Soup. Even I can manage that.

Have we missed anything. Any more cool ideas?

Halloween 2

Ok son what cartoons would you like to see for Halloween?

Dad sounds like a top 5 of cartoons or kids movies for Halloween would be.

  • ScoobyDoo – not sure you need much more than this but
  • Gravity Falls – but needs to be the Weirdmaggedon ones
  • ParaNorman
  • Ghostbusters
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas

Ok Dad what’s yours but I bet I can think of one you will put in. You would put it in for Christmas, Easter and even Valentines…

Am I that predictable son

  • Captain Scarlett and the Mysterons – I knew it Dad…..
  • Penguins of Madagascar but has to be the one with Skipper as a Zombie
  • Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  • Charlie Brown – Its the Great Pumpkin
  • Coraline


So that’s our choices. Any other ideas greatly appreciated.

Halloween 1 – Scary things

Dad tell me the Top 5 things that scare the pants off you. I bet they are different to mine.

So here goes then.

  1. Donald Trump and Boris Johnson running countries.
  2. Dentists
  3. Wasps
  4. Bono’s singing
  5. Heights

But Dad you are supposed to be a climber.

I’m fine as long as I don’t look down. I would climb in really dark sunglasses so I couldn’t see very far. Ok son what’s your 5 things that scare the pants off you.

  1. Death
  2. Climate change
  3. Trump being within a few feet of the nuclear button
  4. Beetroot
  5. Giraffes

So that’s our scary pants 5. What’s yours then?

I want that hat

Halloween update.

Just finished watching ParaNorman. My son loves the film. It makes him cry but also laugh. I think the themes of being an outcast and loss resonate with him. It does the same to me.

Mr Trumper the Party Pumpkin has lost his hat. The puppy kept wagging his tail, going crazy and knocking the pumpkins party hat off. Eventually we gave up and tried the hat on the dog. Dog is currently trotting around the house like he is the bees knees. Got to find Trumper a new hat, don’t want him losing his temper. Not on Halloween.