The Gallery: Our Halloween

We love Halloween. It’s one of the highlights of the kids’ year and I have no problem with them dressing up and trick-or-treating their way around our neighborhood.

Some houses  display ‘No Knocking’ signs but there is really no need; most people only approach a decorated house on our block and the kids always come away with a bag full of tooth rotting sweets.

This year the discussions about costumes started when school went back at the beginning of September. And it was about them that I realised we had made a really huge mistake.

We were going to be away for October 31st, in a country where they just don’t do Halloween. The kids were devastated and we had tears and tantrums.

So here we are in Marrakech for Halloween week.
Djemaa El Fna at sunset

This is our neighbourhood.

The road to the riad

These are the closest things we could find to pumpkins.

Moroccan pumpkins

You can’t fit a tea light in them, so we’ll have to make do with lanterns.

Lanterns at dusk

We’ve bought a few Western treats with up to hide around the riad on the night itself, but we’ve also been sampling the local sweets.

IMG_4835

They are mainly fruit based; figs, dates and other dried fruits but nougat also features highly.

And there are plenty of Halloween creatures around. The stray cats are everywhere and are especially attentive when you are waiting for lunch.

Waiting for lunch

 

And then there are the snakes…

Snakes alive

 

We may not be having a conventional Halloween this year, but we think the kids will forgive us eventually.

Even if they don’t get to dress up and go door knocking, they are having new experiences and getting close up and personal with the locals.

Boy and snake

 

We’ve assured them that next year it’ll be all carved pumpkins and trick and treating again.

For more Halloween happenings, check out this week’s Gallery over at Sticky Fingers.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Morocco For October Half Term

Eight months ago I was sitting in fisherman’s cottage on the shores of a Norwegian Fjord. It was February half term and we had gone to Norway to see the Northern Lights. We were lucky and saw the Lights four times, but there was not much to do in the evening other than sky watch and we always managed early nights.

One night, as I was preparing to go upstairs, DH looked up from his iPad and asked me if I fancied going to Morocco. Yeah, I replied, why not?

But I meant it in a yes, sure, one-day-in-the-future sort of way.

The next morning I awoke to the news that DH had booked us a week in Marrakech during the October half term. That’ll teach me to not pay attention to my husband when he’s talking about holidays!

Jemaa el Fna

Half term has just crept up on me. We leave in three days and I’ve suddenly realised I’m going to have to dig out all our summer clothing again. We are all geared up for autumn here.  I haven’t got around to fixing my compact camera; the lens camera stopped working halfway through our European holiday and I need to download a shedload of books onto everyones kindles. I’m just not very organised at all.

It seems Morocco is a popular choice for some autumn sun. At the time of the year, the weather is good with highs in the late 20s/ early 30s and the flight is only 3.5 hours from Gatwick. We are staying in a small private riad a couple of minute’s walk from the main square and souks, and aim to have a relaxing, restful family holiday.

I’m looking forward to the sunshine but to be honest, I’m a little bit anxious about visiting Morocco with the kids. DD3 has form for running off and we are going to have to keep a close eye on both the little ones, while hoping the 10 and 11 year olds don’t attract too much undue attention. I’ve banned the short shorts DD1 was so fond of wearing during the summer as I assume it would be wiser for her to dress as a woman, not a child.

The food worries me a little too as DS, in particular, is a very fussy eater. DD1 is fine, but I’m really not sure how any of the younger three will cope without pizza and pasta on offer.  No one will starve of course, and we are going to take a box or two of cheerios and some muesli bars with us, just in case.

The girls are looking forward to shopping; they want to buy some slippers and jewellery and I fancy a tagine pot, although I have no idea if I’ll get it home in one piece. Is there anything else we should be looking for?

We’d like to see a few things in the area, and go on a couple of day trips too so if anyone has any recommendations for where to go and what to see in Marrakech then please feel free to comment below.