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Donna Gee - Spain's Grumpy Old Gran

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Halloween expat bores pooped the party
17 November 2012

EVERY WITCH WAY

BUT CELEBRATE...

 I’m not doing Halloween any more. I’ll stick to the  Spanish version in future...or I fear I’ll be heading for  the Old Fawkes Home pretty pronto.
It  seems to me that the concept of dressing up on All Hallows Eve hasn’t got through to the older generation of Brits, as I discovered to my embarrassment on October 31.

They always said I look like a witch

 I suspect that most of them, like me, still find Guy Fawkes more interesting company than ghosts and vampires. But a Halloween party is a Halloween party, so I and three friends  invested in some suitably demonic  attire and eventually arrived at Retaurante St Joan in El Altet in full scary mode.
The  other 32 guests got there before us – which wouldn’t have been difficult. Because only ONE person had made more than a token effort to join in the mood of the occasion.
It was all such a letdown…a ‘theme’ evening devoid of a theme. And the evening  was only salvaged by the enthusiastic  participation of the local Spanish community of all ages.
I can in a way understand the apathy of older Brits because when I was a kid, Halloween  was an irrelevance. We were too busy celebrating the failure of Guy Fawkes and his boys to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.
 How weird…now had the Gunpowder Plot  succeeded, that WOULD have been a  reason to celebrate.
Back in the mid-20th century, we DID celebrate by hoisting effigies  of the aforesaid Fawkes atop our bonfires on November 5 as  fireworks lit up the sky.
Nowhere did we see ‘Trick or treat’ extortionists frightening grannies to death as they answered a ring on the doorbell. Instead, we con-kids would gently request a ‘Penny for the Guy’ from householders – and treat them to scowls and curses if they didn’t give us at least ten times that amount.

Every witch way but fancy dress (apart from my quartet)

Those of us with a work ethic made an effort to create a Guy worth investing in. The lazy ones just shoved a mask on the smallest urchin in the gang and wheeled him from door to door in a battered dolls pram.
In Bonfire Night,  we used to have a jolly good November celebration in the UK ...a celebration the whole family could enjoy..
But  at some point, the Americans all emerged from Macdonald’s,  put their fat mitts into the mix (yes, there were Mitts before Romney put on the election gloves) and shunted the Gunpowder Plot into oblivion.
As for selling Guy Fawkes to them, forget it. They say cutlery made specifically for men will never catch on in Albuquerque.

Published in The Courier (www.thecourier.es) November 9, 2012



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