A Hotchpotch of Thoughts – Halloween, Fur Family and Holiday!

Happy Halloween! Having spent four of their formative years at an American international school, my children, L & S, most particularly L, love Halloween. They are Aussie kids through and through but there is something magnetic about Halloween to them. L rates this as her favourite celebration for the year. We halloween the house. We have the mandatory carved pumpkin, a singing cat, a spooky treats bowl, cobwebs and spiders and this year, a glow in the dark ‘body’ on our front wall. Yes, we like Halloween at our house.

I finished work early today as did L. I donned my witchy poo outfit and L her green lantern outfit. Later we were joined by S and his partner C. They were a cow and chicken. We enjoyed visits from probably around 100 neighbourhood children, most with parents in tow. It’s a really nice way to get to know some of the people in the neighbourhood and we obviously have return custom as a number of the adults made comments about what we had added since last year.

It’s interesting to watch the little ones. Some of them bound up with confidence: some are rather reticent. They all have the same goal, to add to their stash. Most of the kids are quite happy when we place the limits of ‘one of this and one of that’ but I’ve noticed that it’s the quietest ones who sneak back for more!

I live in a zoo, not a real zoo but it may as well be. Jemima is our black cat and clearly tonight is her night. She is quite timid and really doesn’t do social which is a pity, she would be a perfect Halloween accessory. Crash, our cocker spaniel, he is versatile, any event where there are captive people who might bestow some attention – pats, cuddles, a kind word. Crash enjoyed tonight immensely. Then there is Beo.  Beo is a bull terrier and he is completely nuts. He is as friendly as can be but he is big and rough and has no idea how strong he is. Beo spent Halloween in the bathroom so that he wouldn’t bark and wouldn’t scare the trick or treaters. Now bull terriers have what can only be described as mad minutes. They go from stationary to full speed in 10 seconds flat! So, after Beo had spent a significant time in the bathroom we decided it was time to let him out. This resulted in a ‘mad minute’ – full speed around the house, very close to collecting me in the process. He then proceeded to take on Jemima. Now darling Jemima is one of the most highly strung cats to ever inhabit the earth. And of course, cats always win. Let’s just say that there isn’t too much blood and it’s all Beo’s.

I love the zoo. All of them, despite their eccentricities are great company and very comforting to have around. We recently decided that Beo really would be better placed in a home where he would get more attention and exercise and probably where he was the only animal. We came very close to re-homing him until I realised how much I love him and how much I would miss him. I am sure that I will live to regret that decision, but for now it’s the right one.

Crash is my boy. He was here first (before L brought her menagerie into the house). He came to us at 15 months old with the name Ashley, shortened to Ash, then Crash when he crash tackled his way into our hearts along with crashing into doors, the pool, anything really. Uncoordinated is an under-statement! When we are all out the menagerie is separated. Beo and Crash each have parts of the yard and Jemima has the house. Crash’s part of the yard includes the pool and his day generally involves a dip. I’d like to have a camera on it to check but suspect that he is either dreamily looking at his own reflection and over balances or that the large water monitors that also swim in the pool are just too tempting for him!

I have floor to ceiling windows in the sunroom which is very close to the pool. Again, I’d like a camera to see how this eventuates but on most days, I come home and Crash has clearly finger-painted on all of the windows. I suspect Jemima encourages this activity but have no idea what she does.  Now that I have introduced my zoo you’ll hear more about them.

From tomorrow I am on holidays for 5 weeks. Woo hoo! It will be a balanced mixture of doing and not doing. There will be trips to the beach with Crash (I can’t manage Beo, he’s too strong!). There will be a jaunt to Tasmania and then a second one to Sydney. I have to say that this is the first time in many years that I have been feeling well when I have gone on leave. Previously I have been wound up so tight that it took me most of the break to wind down. In fact I feel wound down already. I am going to have an awesome holiday!

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