Monday, 28 October 2013

The worst Halloween costume ever?

Here in England we didn't really celebrate Halloween when I was a kid. There's more now, costumes for sale in the shops, tacky bits of plastic that are meant to be bats or cauldrons or… some of them are so cheaply made I'm not quite sure what they are meant to be. Now there are parties, children dressing up and 'spooky' recipes in magazines but back then there was nothing.

Late one October we children were off school for the half term holidays and the weather was glorious. Crisp, bright days perfect for walking – kicking – your way through piles of leaves in the woods or playing on the beach with your coat on. So, my mum decided to take us away to a cheap and cheerful holiday camp.

Of course, by the time we arrived the weather had changed and it was raining hard. The sort of rain that soaks you right down to your undies. What made it worse was the camp didn't allow cars on the site so we had to carry the entire luggage across a big muddy field from the car park. We were wet, . Very wet. The only thing that cheered us up was the poster my brother had spotted. There was going to be a Halloween fancy dress competition that very night in the club house.

We had to go. We insisted.

Poor mum.

She had nothing with her and nowhere to buy anything. But my mum is an amazing lady and very resourceful. She would find something.

To this day, when I think back, I'm not sure exactly what I was meant to be but I felt amazing in my costume. I had a pair of my mum's black tights on, with my dad's black briefs over the top and a black t-shirt back-to-front to hide the Barbie picture on the front. Then came the really creative bits. A black bin bag scrunched up round my neck as a … Cape? Scarf? Ruffle? Chopped up bin bags stuck round my waist with sticky-tape Hawaiian-hula girl style and yet more bags on my feet for… I have no idea why.

 Next she turned her attention to my face. Mum didn't have much make up with her so she put flour all over my face, butter - yes, butter – in my hair to make it stand up, the black ash tip of a used match round my eyes and lashings of her bright red lipstick. Oh and she drew on 'scars' all over my face with an eyebrow pencil.

I really wish I had a photo.
Needless to say I didn't win; a boy in a shop bought costume got that honour, which I think is a bit unfair. There's no effort in that. But I did get a toffee apple for being plucky. I didn't know what plucky meant back then, I just enjoyed the apple, but I think it might have something to do with the big nappy pins my mum had used to hold up dad's over-sized underpants!

 Win a copy of my new book Knights and Butterscotch in either epub of pdf format. I'll draw a winner from the folks who commented on my blog on Saturday 11/2/13. Good luck everyone!


  1. Way to go Faith girl Lovely to see you here

    1. Thank you, you darling snooky gorgeous girl!