Halloween!

Had a spooky evening last night, trick or treating with Izzi and Ava, who were in their best witchy mode.  They'd been practising their cackles and did a great job of scaring the neighbours.  It was all so scary that I didn't get a picture, but Philip took one of Arlo, our mischievous kitten who has to have a paw in everything - had to stop him from exploring the pumpkin further and burning his whiskers!
Then back home to warm up with a celebratory supper of pumpkin soup and baked potatoes, washed down with a glass or two of mulled wine, whilst the girls watched their favourite Halloween film, The Wizard of Oz - still going strong and just as great as ever.  I remember as a child sitting through it twice at the cinema in one sitting.
There's an interesting and informative post on Jane Galer's blog about how the pagan festival of Samhain (pronounced Sowen) became our modern-day Halloween.  Samhain celebrates the end of the living year, a tucking in ready for the winter on the long nights ahead, time for contemplation of new projects for the spring... mmmmmm I can almost taste the cocoa and feel the warm glow of the fire as I write.  This year Samhain is on November 7th, the day before my birthday, so I feel there's an added significance.
This also reminded me of a sweater I designed nearly twenty years ago - in my second book, Knits for all Seasons, I named the Halloween sweater Samhain.  The glowing red and gold silks of the sumptuous weavings of the Ewe people of West Africa inspired this jacket which looks as if it would still be fit for purpose on a chilly autumn night. Happy New Year!

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