Monday 31 October 2011

Samhain comes

The hour for me is just past 11pm. Halloween for me is almost over and I leave you with a Greeting to Samhain.

Make of this what you will.

Threshold Invocation for the Festival of Samhain
(to be said at the fron tdoor of the house on the eve of Samhain, 32 October, in the evening.)

Grandmother Wisdom, open the door,
Grandfather Counsel, come you in.
Let there be welcome to the ancient lore,
Let there be welcome to the Winter of the Year.
In cold and darkness you are travelling,
Under crystal skies you will arrive.
May the blesssed time of Samhain
Clarify the soul of all beings,
Bringing joy and wisdom to revelation.
From the depths to the heights,
From the heights to the depths,
In the cave of every soul.

(Due thanks given to the transaltion by Caitlin Matthews)

Two Halloweens

In the Glasgow, Scotland, of my childhood we didn't call Halloween Trick or Treat- we called it Guising, or more simply 'goin' oot fer yer halloween'. Lucky me! I was in the Brownies (Junior Girl Guides-Tuesday nights), and they always had a competition for best halloween costume. I'd scrabble around on the Monday night creating something wonderful. It was always made from discarded rags or other rubbish (garbage) and tended to be very creative. The rule was it must not cost a penny to make it! The thing was it also had to last twice. Nae bother when the Brownies Halloween party came first since I always wanted to win the prize, but it wis a richt fash (a big issue) when the real Halloween came later.

The most memorable costume is a painful memory. Witches were too boring so I decided to be a COALMAN instead. Easy costume-rolled up troosers, far too large old jaiket, bunnet fer the heid(every coalman had one), rough coal sack with bits of coal. Brilliant! Easy since we still had a proper coal fire, with real smelly smoky coal. Sprinkle the coal dust all over and voila! All done. Not quite since the face wasn't black enough. What would be better than my dad's black boot polish? Naethin' ava'. Try getting a thick layer of boot polish off hands and face before bed that night! That's where the pain came in. Sadly I don't remember winning the competition either.

Next painful bit. My mother was a stickler for sticking to plans made. You got it. I also had to redo the costume for my real Halloween a few nights later.

Going around the doors fer yer Halloween meant you'd have to sing a ditty, dae a dance, recite a poem, or tell a joke. If you did none of those you got nothing. In those days it was customary to receive an apple, a sweet, maybe a little cake or small cookie...and if you did really well with the dramatics you might get a penny or a thruppeny bit ( a brass coin that was worth 3 pence). Great stuff but try eating a cake or cookie that has been in a coal sack?


Monday 24 October 2011

Two Months already

Two months ago today was so exciting! It was Digital release day for Monogamy Twist and I was awaiting my first new grandchild as well. The book, I'm delighted to say, had no delays but the wee 'wean'? That was another story. My gorgeous granddaughter arrived a bit late, but she is a stunner! I've now got to get back to serious posting here since the flurry of visitors to see the new arrival is slowing down. Lots of family have viewed and stayed over, great heid wettin'-as we Scots call it-has gone on and Annalise's arrival is duly celebrated!
What about the next arrival? Not sure here-but how about you?