I’m not much of a fan of Halloween. As a child with a vivid imagination I could never control my fears enough to find them entertaining. It was always pure terror or nothing. Now an adult and mum to boot, I’ve not changed. I’ve also become more and more suspicious of the images used around Halloween. There was a time when women with initiative were labelled witches and people with disabilities were seen as monsters. Stereotypes and labels dehumanise, allowing cruelty to be practiced without comment. At Halloween those primitive fears of people who are different seem uncomfortably close to the surface.
On the other hand I am a big fan of pumpkins! We often like to pick up lots of discounted pumpkins after Halloween at the supermarket. They keep so well under the stairs that we can enjoy them for a few months to come. In the last couple of weeks we have eaten pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin risotto, pumpkin and black-eyed bean rice, and pumpkin and prawn curry. And here is our pumpkin lantern. It’s not carved with a spooky face but with some of Little Owl’s favourite things… a star, an elephant, a butterfly, and a princess crown.