And so begins November

Happy All Saint’s Day everyone!  Today has been a gorgeous fall day in Dublin – blue skies, sunshine.  Unlike yesterday, which was a lot of rain.  Luckily, the rain cleared up by the time we were ready to trick or treat.

That said – the sun is already beginning to set and it’s only 3:45 pm here.  We “fell back” an hour Saturday night, which means the days are going to get real short real soon.  We had a glimpse of that last December when we came to visit for a few days.  Hopefully I’ll survive it all (mental note, buy some Vitamin D supplements for the self.)

November is bringing visitors – Josh’s mom has come to visit, and then one of my bestest friends ever will be here.  It’s fun to see others react to Dublin, and Ireland.  I’ve gotten used to a lot of things – like tiny bathrooms and crazy van drivers – and watching someone else go “Wow!  Look at that!” reminds me what a cool place I’m allowed to live in for a while.

Speaking of cool – Josh was at an event for work last week, something to do with start-up businesses.  As I sewed up a last minute banshee costume for Miriam, he texted me with “Don’t kill me…but Bono’s here.”  Bono. Of U2 fame.  Who I adore.


I’ve been told everyone in Dublin has a “the time I ran into Bono” story.  Someday, I shall have my Bono moment.  Oh yes, I shall.

But instead, Josh got the minor Bono moment, and I sewed up a banshee costume for Miriam.  The boys opted out of trick or treating this year.  Which was bound to happen, them getting too old for dressing up.  We took the girls out though – the banshee and Maura dress as a princess.

Halloween here is much more laid back. The best way I can describe it is how Halloween was when I was a kid – only instead of random groups of boys with shaving cream and toilet paper, the random groups of boys had fireworks.  Which they set off in the park across the street from us.  Otherwise, half the houses weren’t decorated or giving out candy.  The girls actually had to play “guess the right house” game like I did as a child.

See, where we moved from, Manchester – that town did Halloween fantastically. In Manchester, people decorated their houses well, even their yards.  Everyone dressed up – even adults – and the businesses all gave out candy as well.  Houses giving out candy had people waiting for you on their front steps.  There was no guesswork involved.  And then, when we were done, we’d go down to the old mill, which would be decked out in jack o’lanterns, and a “make your own caramel apple” process happened (you’d pick out your apple, volunteers would put the stick in, dip it, roll it in rice krispies, and put it in a plastic container so you could take it home.)  All while you waved “hi” to everyone you knew.  It’s something out of a Hollywood movie, one of those “too perfect to be true” holidays.  That’s how Manchester did Halloween.  And I’m grateful that my children got to experience that.

Of course, I was worried that after such great Halloween’s in Manchester, a Dublin one would be a bit disappointing to Miriam.  However, it wasn’t.  Probably because what Dubliners lack in fake front lawn graveyards, the made up for in compliments and treats.  One woman even asked for a poem – which Miriam did provide.  She was fussed over and given full sized Cadbury bars and baggies full of different treats.  Mid-way through, Miriam declared this the best Halloween ever.  Despite our lack of a pumpkin to carve.

Oh yes.  We had no pumpkin this year.  We, the people use to having several, or at least one really big one, had no pumpkin.  They were hard to come by this year because the summer was too cool here to properly grow them.  Josh did search around local stores…finally he came home with some butternut squash.  He carved one and it actually turned out quite cute – and just big enough to fit my fake tea light candle into.  Miriam liked the one so much, she drew a face on the second one and Josh carved it for her.  I’ve decided this should be our new tradition – even when we do have a pumpkin.

In the  meantime, the kids have the week off of school – half-term break I think it’s called. Which is good – life has been so hectic around here, I could use the break!


The Banshee and The Princess
The Banshee showing off her squash
the little squashes waiting for the Great Squash to appear
Maura, impressed with her basket full of candy (which she should have been - we took out all the bags of chips before the picture was taken!)