The morning after (the night before)

If there’s a time when our living room resembles a scene from the movie The Hangover, it’s the Friday morning after Halloween.

I came downstairs today to find sweet wrappers strewn around the lounge, several containing half-eaten, sticky candies. Discarded costumes were still in the exact spot they’d been peeled off, and the children, who’d got up far too early considering it was such a late night, were sprawled on the sofa, pale-faced with tiredness and nursing sugar hangovers. If a chicken had wandered by, and pecked at the leftover sweets, I honestly wouldn’t have been too surprised.

Closer inspection revealed that the disembodied neck from Son 1’s headless horseman outfit had rolled across the floor, coming to rest by the TV. I spotted a gloved hand from Son 2’s zombie costume nearby and there was a devil’s fork propped against the bookshelf.

“So everyone had a good night then?” I asked, looking at my bleary-eyed, 7YO Halloweenie, who was holding his head in his hands. (A cold was compounding the sugar crash).

There was a resounding yes – and, I have to say, I did feel quite pleased that our preparations (which, let’s face it, take all month) had paid off.

I love that, on Halloween, our compound descends into collective trick-or-treatery and becomes a distant satellite suburb of the US, with spooky decorations galore. Last night, our wonderful American neighbours treated us to a pre-Halloween warm-up party; then the kids trooped round the streets in costume – gathering in porches lit by the glow of jack-o-lanterns to collect sweets.

Some villas had taken a theatrical approach, with haunted-house music and torches, and there was a witch strung high above G street, flapping gently in the moonlight.

It was a balmy evening, almost a little too hot to be wearing layers of cheap polyester, and our community was out in force – on foot and for a lucky few, drive-by style, in a six-foot trailer pulled by a quad bike.

After the commotion died down, I escaped to a party up the road, leaving DH to get the children to bed, and bringing Halloween to a wickedly fun end.

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The costumes were acquired by DH on a trip to New York earlier in October
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The pumpkin was bought at the fruit n veg market (12dhs, as opposed to the fortune charged by Spinney’s) and the innards were turned into this dish – my first ever pumpkin pie! We carved a watermelon too, which glowed luminous red
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Just some more e-numbers – spider cakes for the children
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But for some, Halloween is as easy as writing a (polite) note and posting it on the door (although they probably had to hide too)

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