As I write this column, I hear on the radio that the police are going to crack down on anti-social behaviour connected with Halloween. I plead guilty to a relevant offence.
Over the past few weeks, Aurelia and I have attended many a Harvest Supper and joined in seasonal hymns before sitting down. We have ploughed the fields and scattered all over North West Hampshire, and then dined handsomely on the produce of the soil. Quarley, Appleshaw and Wolverton have hosted memorable feasts.
Before the Harvest Supper at Hannington, we went to Evensong where the Hannington Silver Band replaced the organist.
A few years ago, when the HSB were playing at a local fete, I asked them if they could play the overture to the Pirates of Penzance. They apologised for not having the score with them; but a few weeks later, when I arrived at another fete, straw hat in place, they spotted me and struck up with Sir Arthur Sullivan’s immortal chords.
Now, whenever I go to an event where they are playing, they break spontaneously into the Pirates. So, when I caught the eye of the Band Leader, in the middle of evensong in Hannington, I was worried that the anthem might be different to the one planned. But I digress.
After the Quarley Harvest Supper, there was an auction for local produce, raising funds to help replace the stolen church bells. I found myself bidding for one of the largest pumpkins I had ever seen. The Body Mass index was off the scale and, for £15, it was mine. Two people were required to carry it to the car.
What does one do with a pumpkin the size of Les Dawson?
Then we remembered. Our five year old grand-daughter was growing a pumpkin from seed in time for Halloween. The last time we saw it, it was the size of a small tomato. One night we visited her home, with the pumpkin in the back of the car. The umbilical cord securing the tomato sized pumpkin to its mother was severed, and Les Dawson was put in its place. We left him with his new foster-mother.
The effect on the grand-daughter the following morning was reported to be dramatic. She was on the cusp of abandoning her belief in fairies, and joining her two older brothers in a more adult understanding of the world she lives in. This incident has delayed the progression for a month or two.
And if the police in Berkshire are looking for the perpetrators of an anti-social Halloween related crime, it’s a fair cop. But we got rid of the pumpkin.