Pumpkin paradise!


Pipa and her daughter Well, when I was growing up Halloween was just a day that went by with a couple of scary movies on the box, if you were up for that kind of thing – today however, it's a WHOLE different ball game!

Having spent it in Canada last year, we really got the bug (well, my husband is Canadian so at least I know why he has such fun memories. Remember ET? It really IS just like that with ALL the children dressed up and dashing about!)

So in an effort to stump up our Halloween happenings, we've sorted our costumes and this weekend went to the local garden center to pick up a selection of pumpkins!

I've had a few conversations with people who are rather wary of the whole thing – don't be, it's meant to be fun! If you're not sure how it should work here are a few tips.

If you're trick or treating, don't ask for money (as I've heard some do in this country – clearly they need to learn the rules!), make an effort, dress up, knock on your neighbours' doors and hopefully they'll be prepared with a bowl of goodies.

If you're the neighbour staying in, have a bowl of sweets and crisps ready. Go as ghoulish as you can and pre-packaged for hygiene sakes (nothing healthy please!). It might be a good idea to pop a pumpkin beside your front door or even go as far as a few decorations to let them know you're playing!

We had a brother and a sister come to our door in 2008, rather tentatively and with the fear of God in their eyes. The relief was evident when they could see we were playing ball. I wonder if they'll be back? I hope so! It's a great opportunity to meet some neighbours, spread a bit of joy about and have some fun!

Bring it on - Trick or Treat!

Pipa x

Pumpkin carving  Pipa Pipa's son Pipa's son and his pumpkin


  1. valerie blake October 26, 2010 at 10:27 am -  Reply

    wow pippa
    i have never seen so many pumpkins,they can’t be all yours,i think we are all a little staid carry on the good work.have a great one
    best wishes valerie

  2. Cindy October 28, 2010 at 7:17 am -  Reply

    Pipa, Halloween is yet another Americanism brought over here, we have Guy Fawkes which is quite scary enough. Trick or treating is just another idiotic American custom which we don’t need! For a supposedly ‘Christian’ country they sure so make a big deal out of a pagan event. More expense for parents also. Leave it where it belongs please

  3. Pipa October 28, 2010 at 8:34 pm -  Reply

    ha ha Valerie – gosh no!! We tried to grow them this year but failed abysmally!!! Cindy I do hear your plea however my children are half Canadian so its important to embrace the other side of their family’s culture…I was very sceptical at first about the whole thing but actually depending on how you do it, it can be a great excuse to embrace community life and share a few smiles which I think we’re all rather short of these days. I’m all for going for Guy Fawkes and Trick or Treating – and anything else we can find to enjoy along the way.

  4. Angie October 28, 2010 at 10:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pipa, I’m afraid I agree with Cindy above! This is yet another American tradition that we certainly don’t need!! My children never went trick or treating, and I really object to other people knocking on my door, expecting me to provide them with treats – just another form of begging with menace thrown in if you don’t play ball. We have enough problems forking out for our own children’s needs and expenses without adding the neighbourhood kids into the mix!!

  5. Mark October 28, 2010 at 10:25 pm -  Reply

    I think its great – wish they had it like this when I was a kid!

  6. Sarah October 30, 2010 at 9:44 pm -  Reply

    I’m definately with you Pipa anything that gives the little ones a smile. There is too much seriousness in the world!!
    First job tomorrow Pumpkin carving!!

  7. Sarah November 1, 2010 at 10:32 am -  Reply

    Hi Pipa, hope you had a fab Halloween, interestingly I did see on tv last night that Halloween does originate from over here!! as it’s a Pagan Festival.
    I think with Halloween and then Bonfire Night it’s a fantastic time for the Children in the lead up to Christmas!!!

  8. Teresa November 2, 2010 at 2:39 pm -  Reply

    I thought Halloween was an American thing but apparently it originated in Ireland and was a pagan thing. They used to cut out faces in turnips rather than pumpkins! Surprised they didn’t use large potatoes!

  9. Tracey November 2, 2010 at 2:51 pm -  Reply

    I was never in to the halloween thing until i had my daughters, we went to a shopping centre in the midlands on sunday and the shops were doing trick or treat for the children. It was wonderful to see the children enjoy themselves armed with bags and maps, and as Sarah said its fun the children on the run up to Christmas

  10. jean.fields November 2, 2010 at 6:04 pm -  Reply

    Anything to bring a smile Pips, I love all the fun but never had any callers again this year. Maybe because my friends and neighbours emigrated to Canada it was lovely to see the children all dressed up. So as not to alarm me the parents asked if they could ring, I had the camera ready and some goodies. Its such a pity so many traditions are dying out and people live such insular existances, American/Candian it maybe but we did it all when I was a child (1940). Oh, just one thing I went to buy a pumpkin Sunday, all sold out so no pie and no soups.

  11. Gail November 3, 2010 at 5:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pipa, like yourself (although I’m a lot older than you) Halloween didn’t really exist when I was a child, not in my neck of the woods anyway. Although it is something that doesn’t really appeal to me, I hate the thought of children getting all dressed up in their outfits with the wonderful, innocent excitement and anticipation that only children have, only for people not to open their doors and embrace the spirit of it (excuse the pun), as I see it, giving a little joy to children (I remember as a child getting very excited when I was given anything). I have therefore always entered into the spirit of it, although I never get more than 3 or 4 children knocking, probably because no-one opens their doors. Therefore the next year the children won’t bother. This year I put 2 one foot skeletons on the front door and had a plastic pumpkin basket full of sweets (as usual) and only 3 knocked. Nevertheless, the looks on the children’s faces were worth the little effort involved and I was transported back to the innocence of childhood. One child had a black bin liner, bless him! I think it would be more stressful trying to hide behind closed doors rather than embrace the night and see happy little faces. I’m totally with you Pipa. Hope you and your children had a nice Halloween evening. Take care, Gail xx

  12. Susan November 4, 2010 at 11:46 am -  Reply

    I’m with most of you! Let the kids have some fun! And even the adults for that matter…bring back community spirit as you say!
    Take care Pipa,
    Susan x
    PS Your kiddies are gorgeous!

  13. Diane Walsh November 4, 2010 at 4:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pippa, think you’re fab!! Just wondered the colour of the deep red nail polish you were wearing today on the silver show. IT IS DIVINE. I phoned the studio and was advised that it’s a Leighton Denny one but they were unsure of shade and I know there’s a few similar ones.
    Best wishes, Diane x

  14. Gail November 5, 2010 at 10:46 am -  Reply

    Dear Pipa, I’m totally with Susan. Bring back community spirit. I live in London; in fact London born and bred and I have seen community spirit dwindle to zero in my neck of the woods. What a shame!
    Gail x

  15. Jeannie November 11, 2010 at 9:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pippa!
    I am not so sure that we copied the Americans re Halloween! I am 68 years young(!)and when I was a little girl growing up here in Scotland, I remember very clearly going out ‘guising’ (dressing up) at Halloween! We never really saw many pumpkins in those days, but we used to carve large swede turnips and put little night lights inside! I have a feeling ‘Halloween’ was the result of the Robert Burns poem ‘Tam o’ Shanter’, many, many years ago!!
    PS Pipa – has Alexis Murdoch (L’Occitane) had her baby yet? I’d love to know whether she had a boy or girl!

  16. Pipa November 12, 2010 at 10:22 am -  Reply

    Hello ladies – thanks for all the lovely tales of Halloween – we did indeed have a great night! Our neighbours were fabulous – they all joined in from 18 months to 80+! In fact I might just have to do a quick post so you can see the photo of my modern munster family!! In the meantime, you can take a look here http://theraphaelproject.com/spaghettiwombers/?p=992
    In answer to the question about my nail colour from Diane, recently I’ve been wearing Infatuation by Leighton – Monroe is virtually the same so either will work for you.
    Thanks for all the comments – long live happy communities …with ALL ages embracing one another!

  17. Pipa November 12, 2010 at 10:24 am -  Reply

    oh and Jeannie, I’m not sure …..sorry!

  18. Jean Fields November 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm -  Reply

    dear pips apologise for reaching you this way but like yourself I am a BIG BIG fan of Wong Kim. I watched you hosting the Steiff show, great show enjoyed it fell for urss still wondering, am I too old 70 years young. Always off on a tangent thats me, back to the beginning you mentioned you were wearing YK and I believe you gave the whereabout date for next show. Having spoken to customer services they tell me there is now programm scheduled unless it is after the 12th December, would you be a darling and drop me an E-mail. Lots of love to you and your lovely family. Just one time you made hysterical was when Max a long time age said when you were dancing “go on mummy shake your trousers”. Love take care Jean Fields.

  19. Dolly Rocker November 17, 2010 at 4:09 pm -  Reply

    I’m glad to see so many others enjoying Halloween! We chose to get married this Halloween and did lots of research into the date before we sealed the deal! It is a pagan festival, but it marks the end of the harvest, more of an Autumnal festival so it’s a shame so many people are getting worked up about it being “Another Americanism”.
    We kept the ceremony and day time sparkly and full of white and silver and for the evening we invited guests to wear fancy dress. My Husband lovingly carved 18 pumpkins which were placed all around the venue and we had a Trick of Treat table that we had laid out with orange and purple sweets that went down a storm. So I for one will be celebrating big style every year!

  20. SAMANTHA HUDSON November 18, 2010 at 11:01 pm -  Reply


  21. Julie Pearce November 23, 2010 at 7:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pippa
    I love love love Halloween. Am a firm believer that we should embrace all opportunities to get together family and friends and party away and Halloween is a great excuse to do that. I have only just put my many boxes of Halloween decorations and costumes back in the loft ready for next year. We have a Halloween fancy dress party every year which my son loves; I decorate the house and inside and out. This year the menu was …Frog Dogs, Very Batty Pate and Burn in Hell Chilli! It was a great night, which ended with fireworks and is still being talked about. We have lovely memories each year which is extremely important to me …… Xmas Decorations are now on the landing ready to put up this weekend …. can’t wait…soo excited. Party Party time again ;o) xxx

  22. Pipa November 30, 2010 at 7:59 am -  Reply

    He peeps – thanks for all the fab messages – Julie you’ve set the bar high for us!!…so now all the Halloween decorations are down, I bet you’re limbering up to get the Christmas ones down from the loft now are’t you?
    Jean – re Yong Kim, the last show was on October 31st and the next is Wednesday December 15th – there are 2 …off the top of my head they are 1pm and 6pm. Thanks for your lovely message, glad to hear you enjoy the shows xxx

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