Wednesday, 2 November 2011

well.. erm...yess - still here.

Yes I'm still here. Well, not here as in here, obviously - there'd have been a good few more posts if I'd been here more often. But here as in still on this planet, in the land of the living.
Appropriately, it's the Day of the Dead (aka All Souls Day) as I write this.
November is kind of a funny, life/death month in my family. Half my family have birthdays around now, from my nephew at Halloween through my sister-in-law, two of my bros 4 days apart, my Beloved, and another nephew on the 19th November (he was supposed to have been a Saggitarius but dropped in early, thus joining his mum, dad, big brother and uncle in the same sign and turning their home into a nest of Scorpios). Then - tomorrow in fact - is the anniversary of my dad's sudden death - 37 years ago and still a shock. Widen the scope a bit into October and you get my third brother's birthday and my mum's anniversary. So, when it comes to remembering the living and the dead, November is it.
As part of the general Halloweeniness, I did my first storytelling gig in England since about... ooh, 1987, perhaps at the Waterman's Art Centre in Brentford? It was a kids' party and the theme of course was Halloween. It turned out to be a rather small audience, but very enjoyable (one tot who I know is only four sat their with his eyes getting rounder and rounder... I hope he got to sleep). Anyway, a good time was had, and I met some interesting people at the party, including a medieval historian in proper 15th century costume. So tonight we're off to the Norwich Storytellers gettogether (a new experience for us both) - theme of course spooky - and I might tell a tale or two, given half a chance.


Robin said...

We have never been into Haloween in Australia, although as we have 900 odd American citizens living in town, it gets a bit of attention.

Sarah said...

It's a funny business, Robin. It used to be very big indeed in England, pre-Reformation (much as in Mexico today) and the tradition survived in events like Mischief Night in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Lancashire. After the reformation the tradition mutated into an Anti-Protestant festival related to the Gunpowder Plot, which happened to be discovered on November 5th. It really got a boost in the late 17th century as part of the agitation against the Duke of York (James II) who got thrown out by his Protestant son-in-law. Lewes bonfire night still burns the Pope in effigy. Do Aussies do much with Gunpowder Treason?