At the weekend, my daughter Taylor made her first visit home since starting University. It was such a joy to welcome her back and to see that, despite my fears that she wouldn't eat properly, she was looking healthy and happy.
As we had missed out on our Hallowe'en festivities last Wednesday due to illness, our weekend took on a spooky theme to make up for it. Right from the start, 4 year old Addy had referred to this year's Hallowe'en as 'Skeleton Day'. It was much easier to call it Skeleton Day than to try and celebrate Hallowe'en on a day somewhat removed from October 31st. Addy does sometimes have uncanny intuition and perhaps this was an example of it.
We got in the mood with a little fancy dress.
Charis modelled the wonderful Hotel Chocolat Coffin Chocolates sent to us by a friend who never fails to make me smile with his generosity and how well he knows exactly what we would love.
Friends and family were invited round to join in our celebrations.
I had spent a good deal of time in the kitchen so there was plenty of food for everyone and my girls helped me with the cake decorating and presentation.
We had fireworks, a gorgeous roaring fire in the chiminea and in a slight deviation to our usual vegetarian food code, we had meat sausages for the barbecue. This greatly pleased the palates of the more committed carnivores who as a general rule will politely endure my meat free offerings without complaint!
The highlight of the evening for me was when Taylor performed some card tricks. She has always had an interest in magic. I bought her some simple magic trick sets when she was a little girl and she would diligently perfect them before demonstrating her skills. One of the many clubs and societies available to students at Warwick University is Warwick Illusion - a society for the performance and appreciation of magic tricks. I was so pleased when Taylor joined and delighted when she came home with a handful of tricks to baffle us with.
She's not quite up there with Dynamo: Magician Impossible yet but everyone has to start somewhere! Certainly after my mood was mellowed with a Hobgoblin Ale or two, I was mystified and demanding to know in an unnaturally high pitched voice how she had done it. I had to settle for the explanation - magic!
Of course the real magic was in the bonds of love and friendship that brought us all together for an unforgettable Skeleton Day.