I think my camera is still in my rucksack. Well, “a rucksack”, I have more than one. How Bohemian. So since Tuesday I’ve been finding out just how pish the battery is in my phone by snapping away as I merrily deny the reality of missing deadlines brought about by the inability of this country’s industrial supply infrastructure to deliver unto me that which I need to finish works in progress and hence forward invoices with which to earn monies.
Greenock’s roads have been decimated by pin the tail on the donkey style traffic maanagement, trying to get back to Glasgow from James Watt College (now renamed something lame which I refuse to write) saw my on Lyle Hill and on my way to Amazon’s missile base in the hills beyond. The double rainbow was real after all and not just grease on my glasses. Yay.
I don’y know whether the face on the pie granny made was meant to scare or amuse Holly, but she ate it fast enough whatever.
Saturday was a long day. We were up at school/work time, listened to a recording of the radio show in the post below on the V+ box and shot off to meet my folks for breakfast at Dobbies. The place horrifies me, yet still we go. Christmas is here, there it is anyway and Joycee was happy to model the new furry Christmas door wreaths. Why Dobbies think this is a good idea I don’t know, a big hairy hole hanging on your door does not look very Christmassy to me.
However, totally abandoning any pretence of taking some sort of high ground when it comes to taste, a new friend was brought home. Hamish McHaggis is his name and rarely have I chuckled so much at something so tacky. Holly hugged its neck with such force I actually expected a body and legs to spontaneously pop out.
A finer highland ornament I have never seen and he now lives on the wall. I love our house.
PS It’s actually pretty big. Genius.
All this actually had a purpose which was to get the rest of the stuff we needed for Holly’s 6th birthday party, which is two weeks early. At the recent Lang Craigs tree planting day we spotted a flyer in a Forestry Commission truck for an event at Boden Boo woodland. Some investigation later, and despite my doubts about luck letting the weather being any good on the night, we booked in bunch of places in the hope that Holly’s pals would share her vision of the perfect birthday party: Halloween in the woods.
It was raining hard, the access road was awash. I bet no one has turned up. We were all cross with each other in the car. We parked in the last space and met a crown of kids dressed up in Halloween gear and a bunch of parents who didn’t know what the hell to expect. Then the rain stopped.
The kids were wound up tight as darkness fell and the torches lit around the spooky woodland trail. They made spiders webs in the art tent, had juice and sweeties and spoke braver than they felt as they started the trek on the tail on the witch.
In the woods there was a witch hunter, a wizard and zombies (who looked remarkably like Slipknot) who rose from a graveyard to may screams from the younger members of the audience, and maybe some older ones too. Giant spiders hung from trees, ghouls lurked and screams echoed in the darkness. The day was saved though, the witch was a good witch and fell in love with the witch hunter and the bad wizard ended up talking to Holly all the way down the hill to the story telling tree. The Wizard did well handling the curve balls Holly’s banter was throwing his way.
The storyteller in highland garb held the audience well with a telling of The Ghost of Ticonderoga, a tale of murder from the Campbells of Inverawe. We stood or sat in a circle under the darkness of canopy of autumn leaves on low, widely spreading branches. Youngsters climbed the branches above to creep closer to the story as the flames on the fire flickered across all of our faces. Magical.
Back to the tent, more juice and cakes and it was all over. Most of the kids made it all the way around the trail and all we could see were happy wee faces. Most painted like vampires, zombies or monsters.
I spoke about the Birthday Party Arms Race before, this one took a side step from that as it cost very little and delivered some fun for all as far as we could see. How many birthday parties have all the dads there from start to finish?
Full marks to the forestry folks for organising this and putting on a great show, there were activities at the start like dooking for apples and the art stuff, they dressed the woodland like a film set and everybody there gave it their all, including the cub scouts how played the zombies.
The Erskine Bridge with its endless roadworks even added to the spookiness as it was a high gantry of lights that matched all the pumpkins and flaming torches.