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I’m going to get creative with my pumpkin carving

I have pumpkin envy. It isn’t something I thought I’d ever have, but I do.

When I was a kid, there was very little trick or treating, as I recall.

We did dress up for Halloween and we were lucky that several of our neighbours all had children of the same age, so there tended to be a couple of knocks on doors of people we knew and then a small party at someone’s house.

Some creative pumpkin carving
Some creative pumpkin carving

I remember bobbing for apples, badly. I always seemed to have a problem with the ratio of the size of my mouth to the size of the apple. I’d end up chasing an apple round a bowl of water for several minutes and earn nothing more than soaking hair, a wet face and no apple.

But pumpkin carving was never on the agenda.

Now, it’s seen as a kind of sign.

If you have a glowing pumpkin on your doorstep, you’re happy to have a child knock on your door and collect a sweet.

And I love that. I take great care in choosing our pumpkin and make sure it’s out in good time before dark.

We have little pumpkin lights and light-up figures to add to the fun.

When it comes to carving the pumpkin, my default pattern is a couple of triangles for eyes and then a few zig-zag cuts for the teeth.

This much, my creative streak can handle.

But now, it’s a growing art. Scenes of witches flying across the sky, names carved in intricate script, black cats sitting among a skyline of rooftops – people are spending hours creating masterpieces.

My attempt at a scary pumpkin
My attempt at a scary pumpkin

Just how do they do it? I consider myself lucky enough if I’ve managed to cut something fairly decent without losing a finger in the process.

This year, our neighbours went all out with giant cobwebs cast across hedges, scrolls of “do not enter” tape, skeletons, ghoulish masks; someone had even made a huge scarecrow with a pumpkin head.

But the pumpkin carving was fantastic, leaving me feeling a little green with envy.

So next year I’ll be getting some practice in. Skylines may be beyond me but I’ll try to be a bit more adventurous - while still keeping the ends of my fingers.

So with Halloween out of the way, and Bonfire Night just days away, thoughts will inevitably turn to Christmas.

We’ve already devoured a packet of mince pies - bought a few weeks ago and with a best before date of mid-December, we had to eat them didn’t we?!

But for the first year ever, I’ve bought my Christmas cards well ahead of December. I haven’t got round to writing them yet as I can’t quite bring myself to penning Seasons Greetings.

Could this be the year, though that I finally get my act in gear and don’t end up in a last minute panic?

Watch this space, although I think I can already predict the outcome: I’ll make a start next week, feel smug for a bit, get distracted and then go into a last-minute spin when I realise the last posting date is only two days away.

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