Tonight is All Hallow's Eve, which means roaming bands of kiddie-winks in cute outfits, and loads of candy*. In the run-up to today, we've been doing various Halowe'en things:
Pumpkin carving - I decided to do a "complicated" pattern that came with the carving tools. (Yes, you can buy special carving tools - luckily they are cheap!) So, we now have a headless horseman outside our door (see the picture) - it turned out really well, I think.
We had a really fun Halowe'en party at our place on Saturday and have some pics up on Flickr (sorry, friends and family only - ping me if you haven't been invited and I'll do so).
At work today many people brought their young kids around for trick or treating. It must be quite surreal for the tiny 2 to 4 year-olds to walk down a hallway with large mounds of candy* outside each door. Most kids do the obligatory sing-song-screech "Twikawtweet", grab a handful of the good stuff, and move on in quick succession. The adult equivalent would probably be something like walking past a row of ATM machines that have $20 bills sticking out. Ka-ching! Move on...
* candy == sweets
And finally, a cool poem with a suitably spooky tone:
The Listeners by Walter De La Mare
'Is there anybody there?' said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest's ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller's head
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
'Is there anybody there?' he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller's call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
'Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:-
'Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,' he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.