11 November 2007

Remember, Remember

I knew that Hallowe'en would be different here, but it was only when driving home on the 31st that I realised quite how important it is to Canadians. The CBC traffic reporter said that the traffic was equivalent to that the day before a holiday weekend, as parents left work early to get home in time to get the kids dressed up. The costumes seem more varied than those we saw in the UK - not all scary things like witches or Dracula. At the school party there were aliens, hippies and princesses too. The two families who tried particularly hard went as the Incredibles and the Cat in the Hat (accompanied by Thing 1 and Thing 2). I felt those particular families had been competing for a number of years to win the Best Adult Costume prize.

Ironically, this is the first year that the kids haven't been trick-or-treating (or 'trickle treating', as one of them thought it was), as there aren't any other kids in the area and I didn't want to hassle the neighbours. One of the women at work reported that she had 150 sets of kids round and explained that she used to make candies for them herself. But now you have to give out wrapped sweets, so she doesn't do that anymore. We didn't have any kids round at all (despite the pumpkin), so I'm glad we don't live in a town or I would have been completely unprepared for so many little visitors.

Oh, and I've discovered where I went wrong with the pumpkin pie and soup - you're supposed to use smaller pie pumpkins, rather than the standard Connecticut Field Pumpkin. So maybe I'll grow some next year and try again. The catalogue from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds arrived on Friday and is a fascinating read. I can't wait to order a whole bunch of weird and wonderful varieties of squash and tomatoes.

poppyI must admit that I haven't missed Bonfire Night at all - it always sounded like World War III in Manchester in early November. Today's weather is the type I associate with Bonfire Night and Remembrance Day - cold, sunny and crisp. The poppies here are quite different from those sold in the UK - and they still have pins, so health and safety madness hasn't taken hold here quite as much.

frozen pondThe pond had a layer of ice over it this morning. The floating weed now looks like islands in a satellite image taken from space. We'll have to get a bird-bath for the birds soon - apparently you can get heated ones, although metal ones aren't recommended, as the birds can freeze to them. Might make it easier to take pictures of them, though.

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