Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Treats of different kinds
Halloween isn't anything like the big event that American kids delight in on this side of the pond. People seldom bother to decorate their houses or even their front doors and porches.
English kids have only cottoned on to the whole concept of Trick or Treating in the past decade or so.
Sadly in some towns with the older teenagers it degenerates into groups of them paining the life out of any old dears they don't really like with the emphasis most definitely on trick rather than treat.
The main local news story on the tv last night was about Avon and Somerset Police force mobilising every officer they have to counter the nuisance element of gangs of young people marauding round throwing eggs and flour at houses and generally showing anti social behaviour. I'd like to think this is only a minority element but nevertheless it is a real nuisance factor later in the evening in some urban areas. It's a shame that the situation has escalated to this extent - indeed some shops and newspapers have been providing posters for people to display asking 'Please - no trick or treaters at this house' - understandable, but still a damning indictment of the way the generations interact in some parts of our land.
Fortunately for us on our little estate we don't see any of that - we do sometimes get groups of youngsters hanging out in the park behind our house after dark but they're generally un-threatening and don't pose us any problem. As a nation we are appallingly bad at providing fun things for kids to do to keep them out of mischief - people generally agree in principle that there should be more skate parks, youth clubs, activity zones etc but when push comes to shove they don't want them 'in their back yard' and aren't prepared to help with the provision.
It was with my heart in my mouth that I allowed Nick and Lou aged almost 11 and 9 1/2 to go out with two of Nick's 10 year old mates just around our little estate to trick or treat for an hour or so - the first year they've gone on their own. I also had a mixing bowl of goodies on the hall cupboard ready for any little people who might call here. It's always difficult to know how far to allow them a little freedom and independence.
We only probably had a dozen or so kids call on us, plus our own who called in on the way round, but they were all very polite and it was such fun to see them all dressed up
It occurred to me about ten minutes before they were due to go out that the only thing I could find for them to collect their treats in were supermarket carrier bags - I mean, what sort of mother does that make me? So as I had some black starry fabric from another project to hand and a piece of lovely orange space dyed fabric too I rustled up a couple of bags for them - DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT look closely as there are no edges finished off and I used the selvedge strips for handles. They served as a temporary stop-gap for the evening - in fact Lou did tell me she was worried that hers might not hold together once full of goodies (I did say they were thrown together) so I shall make them some proper ones for next year - but they were delighted with them and my elder daughter just shook her head and laughed with incredulity at me just throwing something together in a couple of ticks - she obviously doesn't know me as well as she thinks she does.
As you can see from the other picture the Rugby Baby Quilt is completed for Sarah's Coaches new arrival. Jack Cockayne entered the world last Wednesday at 8pm weighing in at 9lb 9ozs - no small chap there - definitely destined to be in the pack! The irony of him arriving right in the middle of training was not lost on the girls. We did have a quick peek at him on Sunday afternoon when his parents brought him down to the club for his inaugural visit. Jenny (his mum) will be at training tonight so I had a deadline for the quilt - I completed it last night and am very pleased with the result. I decided on a big meander all over in a thin white thread and I think it's worked pretty well. Hope they like it too!
Better news with my Dad - the CT scan of his head showed no abnormalities - and as a bonus they have decided he still does have a head and a brain! :o) Result!!!
He had his angiogram yesterday which shows a couple of vessels in need of angioplasty - this will be carried out probably next week in Sheffield and, as his heart had a funny racing session while they were in there looking, his consultant is also considering putting in a pacemaker at the same time - they feel that the irregular heart rhythm is most probably what is causing his funny turns and the pacemaker will help with all this
When the picture wasn't quite so bright a few days ago I broached the subject of their accommodation with both my mum and my brother (at present they rent his old terraced house complete with steep staircase and no downstairs bath or loo). They are on a waiting list for sheltered accommodation down here near us and have been since they lived in the wilds of West Cumbria before they moved to their present home.
However the good news is that the medical team are of the opinion that once these procedures have been carried out Dad should actually feel considerably better than he has for some time and that the stairs shouldn't pose any problem. Catastrophe averted for the time being
I am of the opinion though that we should still continue investigations for something more suitable eventually, whether it's near me or my brother - my sister is worse than useless and would be of little help or support. So I shall continue with my covert investigations and broach the subject with them at a future more appropriate time.