Thursday, 1 November 2012

Lists (6) - Halloween

Lists - the spooky edition!

Sorry no pictures of my kids in Halloween costumes here. None on my phone, on my FB page or on twitter. Haven't even got one on instagram! Sorry. You know, because I bet you haven't seen enough pictures have you? I bet your Facebook News Feed is a Halloween drought isn't it?

Ok... I can rustle up one of our pumpkins, just for you, just because I know you are starved of spooky shots...
We call them Spooked, Narked and Wasted.

How was that? Better. Ok, let's continue with the post.

Things I love and hate about Halloween...


1)  I just love a theme! I'm all about themes. I just like to know what is heart of something. Just tell me what we're basing it on and I'll go hell for leather with you. So Halloween's a good one then. You've got crafts, baking, parties, fancy dress, discos, all spooky. Easy I can do that. Apart from this year, as an extra child seemed to make it a push too far! But next year I'm going all out I can tell ya - like a bat outta hell.

2) Pumpkin Carving. So we have an annual pumpkin carving competition in our house. Me versus Him! And I love it... because being creative is my thing! The FH gets to beat me at every sport on the planet. I get "Arty Shit" it's how we work. Every year he refuses to admit my pumpkin is better, but it is!

This year the 5 year old joined in too. He designed it and The FH carved it for him (we are not mental, we didn't let him do that bit on his own). And this year I let twitter decide which one was the winner. Guess who they picked? Yeah the kid's. Wankers.

3) Giving. Not Taking! Do you know what my eldest son's favourite bit of Halloween is? Opening the door and giving out sweets. He doesn't even ask to have one himself. He just loves giving them out and saying "Happy Halloween" - how cute is he? Especially dressed up as a bat! He charms the scariest of them all!


1) Knocking on strangers doors. It's all a bit wrong isn't it. We're not there yet. Thank god. So I haven't had to endure that battle with them. But really knocking on stranger's doors? Do we have to? It just makes me uncomfortable. I don't mind if you want to come and knock on mine. We'll even have a tub of sweets waiting, but ask me to go out in the cold, dark October rain and knock on strangers doors. No I don't like the thought of that.

2) At the stroke of midnight on Halloween, Christmas will begin. For the big guns, the companies, the advertisers, all Halloween has become is a signal for Christmas commercialism to begin. November the 1st - the start of Christmas being rammed down your throat! Soon we'll be telling our kids "You know why you dress up on Halloween don't you? To ward off Christmas? Yes that's right, we do it to tell Christmas to fuck off for another 30 days and come back on December the 1st.

3) Taking, Not Giving. So yesterday we took the eldest and a couple of mates to a Halloween disco. One of the parents kindly gave us a fiver to buy some sweets for them all. We filled one of those pumpkin buckets with sweets from the tuck shop and they came and topped on sugar and ran round a dark hall intermittently. At one point  an acquaintance type parent type sat next to me. When she eyed the sweet tub she said "Have you already been Trick an' Treating?"
"No" I replied "We bought them here". She looked dumbfounded. A few moments later her son  came and asked for some money, she replied "I'm not paying for sweets here, when we can get them for free afterwards"

Lo and behold who should come knocking on my door later... Awkward!

"Next time I have a good idea.."

The conversation started like this…

Me: When we are in Liverpool I want to take J somewhere he’ll really love for his birthday.
Him: Ok, any ideas?
Me: A really good swimming baths, that has a slide and some paddling pool bits. He’d love that.
Him: I know just the place – Rhyl Sun Centre! We used to go there as kids, but I think they have knocked it down and rebuilt it…

Erm, by the way – THEY HAVEN’T!

It still looks exactly like this…

No I tell a lie, the Monorail has gone.

And to quote my darling OH “No, it’s still exactly the same. In fact I did a crap here in 1987 and it’s still in the Lav!”

Let me first start saying if I was under the age of 15 I would have a loved it! For children who don’t care for mouldy tiles, floating plasters and a really disturbing smells it is swimming paradise! Really! The slides, the surf boards, the waves – they are a child’s dream!

Bur for parents, who just want to make it through the holiday without their children catching dysentery then it’s pretty much hell!

Before we arrived I hadn’t paid much attention to the name, but that is actually the theme, crank the heaters up so you feel abroad. The centre recreates “tropical conditions” and there’s holiday style plastic tables and parasols and sun loungers scattered all around. And people, who don’t actually go in the water, just go to sit and read the paper! Really! They are just there for the weather!
And with the heat comes the smell! My word the smell! If I close my eyes and I try really hard. Yes it’s still there. Still very much there. I can’t describe it. It’s something you have to experience, but be warned… Only the brave will survive.

We renamed the paddling pool “Cornplaster Corner”, the wave machine “The Shit Machine” because it increased the smell and the walkway “The Bridge of Doom”. But don’t let us put you off we probably just have high standards of hygiene (we don’t).

What else? I can’t comment on the food, the smell had knocked me sick so I couldn’t eat. But everything was pretty pricy, including entry fee. The changing rooms were ok-ish! Showers worked fine, I think, it all became a bit of a blur at that point and was carrying a 9 month old baby most of the time. And they have a shop too! To buy souvenirs and swimwear and floats and stuff – just like really being abroad!

But the reason we went… for the kids! They loved it. They loved the slides, the wave machine, the burger and chips and the water shoots! The only thing that the little ones didn’t like was when the sprinklers from the ceiling went off – which is understandable as it’s like being in a big shower really and you know what it’s like trying to get little ones to take a shower!

If you are not at all squeamish or have no sense of smell and want to visit the Rhyl Sun Centre you can find more information here And it’s worth a look just for the youtube video, it really captures the essence of the place!

NB: The photos are borrowed from this website and this one