Vegemite & Toast, Gurgles, Horses and Halloween

It is 08.30 Saturday morning and the Joneses are abed, but not asleep.

Soph is watching BBC News whilst eating Vegemite on Toast; Bren is tapping away on his laptop having exhausted all of his Bloglines feeds. A quick cruise through The Daily Mail Online might be in order soon, just to raise the blood pressure a little.

We are going away today. Not for long, just an overnighter. But we will soon be travelling northwards to The Land That Time Forgot; to a place where Magicks and Cavemen and Demons dwell. No, I’m not being all ‘halloweenish’, it’s just how life is in Worcestershire.

We’ll be coming back tomorrow.

So I (Bren) should get up really. There’s a yard to get to and at least one horse that should be exercised before we make the trip and it should be Tom.

Yesterday I took Vin out for a hack through a couple of villages. We explored lanes that neither of us had been down and discovered a couple of gorgeous hamlets tucked away in a little valley.

It really was too cute for words; incredibly pretty scenes – in a chocolate box kind of way; little clumps of centuries-old cottages framed by the many-shades-of-brown Autumnal range of colouring that London-based fashion designers just don’t get.

Vin didn’t get it either. Oh he looked and gawped and stared, but he didn’t get it. Vin’s due for a clip this week, Tom is going to need a second clip if the current warm spell continues.

I schooled Tom in the indoor arena after I’d put Vin to bed. These two horses are like chalk and cheese, but Tom is good for me. Were Vin has taught me to be defensive, Tom says ‘go!’.

We should jump today, Tom and me; a little course of 3′, maybe eight or nine fences. We need to practice rhythm and balance in the canter (Tom has a minor tendency to lean inwards on the right rein, and I need to get the fold right over the fence).


Lying here in bed, listening to Sophie’s stomach gurgling away as it digests the Vegemite (and/or the toast) I’ve been half thinking about the Halloween thing.

I nipped over to the font of all bad knowledge, Wikipedia, and the website didn’t fail to disappoint me once again.

Unbelievably Wikipedia calls Halloween ‘a holiday’.

What? Really? When did that happen?

Because in my language ‘a holiday’ is a special event for which one gets time off work.

So when did Halloween become ‘a holiday’? And in which country is Halloween ‘a holiday’?


When I lived in the United States, Halloween sure as hell wasn’t ‘a holiday’, so has it happened since?

Or is this another of Wikipedia’s many ‘black holes of information’, where good data is automatically sucked in to some kind of Good Information Wormhole, leaving just the crud and the ridiculous behind for people to read?

But the point of this small diatribe is to mention that I’m considering a Get Halloween Back To Basics Campaign; what do you think?

Halloween used to go like this for me:

1. Apple-bobbing in the kitchen
2. A trip to the fun-fair (if it was in town, but if it wasn’t))
3. Home-made toffee apples
4. Erm…

Knocking on doors and Trick or Treating didn’t happen. The thought of tip-toeing up Grumpy Mr Garner’s footpath, knocking on his door and asking for a trick or treat is too scary to contemplate; he would have set his dogs on us.

And also, Deaf Old Mrs Baker would (had anyone been so bold) have wielded that broom handle that she kept by her door and would have caused many bruises and contusions on our skin.

So why, I wonder, are GMG and DOMB expected to be all sweetness and light these days?

Surely (and don’t call me Shirley) they are entitled to remain isolated in their homes being as grumpy and as surly as they want to be?

Who has given the chavs of today the right to go disturbing people in the comfort and security of their own miserableness?

I really don’t care too much because when the snot-nosed, glue-sniffing, OAP-botherers come around this evening we won’t be here.

Ha ha!

Happy holiday!

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5 Responses to Vegemite & Toast, Gurgles, Horses and Halloween

  1. Krazy Kitty says:

    You need to watch this:

    If Halloween isn’t a holiday, what is it? I mean, what’s the generic term for days like that? (I’m genuinely wondering. I would know how to call it in French, but can’t find the equivalent in English.)

  2. Brennig says:

    It’s just a day. It isn’t a holiday. As an event it has its roots in a pagan festival that originated in Ireland.

    A holiday is an official day off work, eg Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day.

    Wikipedia really is rubbish sometimes because I’ve checked with contacts who still live on Staten Island and the answer to the question is a resounding ‘No, we don’t get Halloween as a day off work’.

    Not a holiday, QED.

  3. Vicola says:

    We got 8 lots of fricking treat or treaters. 8. Bloody ridiculous. Every time I sat down the bloody doorbell went again so in the end I gave up and went to the pub.

  4. keeko jordan says:

    from an absent brother, to an absent brother, happy birthday for tomorrow 4/11/09

  5. Brennig says:

    Thanks Keeko. I’m ashamed to say I don’t know when yours is and the email address you used bounces. B.