Trick or treat?

Happy Jack O'LanternI’ve got two days to get my tax return sorted to be sure of my accountant’s early-bird discount, so of course I’ve spent my entire half term gallivanting and decluttering.

The upside is that my desk is a bin bag lighter and the charity shop two carrier bags of office supplies richer, but the downside is that all those vital bits of paper I need to fill in my tax return may now be sitting in the recycling bin. But I’ve got more taxing worries than sorting out my P60 – it’s Halloween! This year I got in early and bought a pumpkin on Monday – last year I left it so late that I ended up pumpkinless after dark – which mean not only social death but, without a jack o’ lantern in the window we ran a real risk of an egging from over-excited and disgruntled trick or treaters. (Or, as happened to my lovely neighbours one year – an avocado-ing. I can’t remember the details but I think an overly ambitious artisan greengrocer tried to introduce avocados to the area way too early and was forced to abandon an unsold over-ripe box of them outside his shop on Halloween with inevitably predictable results. Holy guacamole – they even looked like grenades as they gently browned in the gutter.

So last year I was so desperate I ended up begging for the last pumpkin in town – which happened to be the one on display in the bookshop window (thank you Owl Bookshop). This year I was determined not to be a Halloween Cinderella and was very smug about Monday’s purchase, which had been happily sunning itself in the window all week – until last night that is when Cleo came home from work armed with a plastic pumpkin scooper and a determined gleam in her eye. “Can I borrow the pumpkin?” she said, disappearing into her room. She emerged an hour later, triumphant Carractacus Potts, carrying an absolute work of art – the pumpkin had been transformed into a perfect replica of a human face. “Can you guess who it is?” she asked. Katy, Liz and I ummed and ahhed but Jack took his eyes off his laptop for one nano-second and declared: “Bill Murray”. Correct. Ghost-busted. Now all I have to do is find another pumpkin for the doorstep – that one is destined for the Tate.

Posted by Amanda Blinkhorn

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