Family-friendly Halloween has us under its spell

pumpkin picking, Sonny Jim

Pumpkin picking: My Sonny-Jim

Hands up if you’ve taken your child pumpkin picking this half-term?

I feel like everyone I know with a child under about 14 (and plenty without kids at all) has gone mad for this Halloween-themed past-time.

We certainly have. Sonny Jim had a blast with his little buddy Emily at Hurleys Farm Pumpkin Forest, in Battlesbridge.

We came home with three that are currently being pulled all over the house by tiny hands. And we’re likely to take another trip back before the big day on Wednesday.

But the arrival (and popularity) of pumpkin farms here (the Pumpkin Patch, in Wash Road, Basildon, is another) marks a real transition in attitudes to All Hallow’s Eve from just a generation ago.

I didn’t have my first jack o’-lantern till I was 21 (when my then-boyfriend made me one.) Admittedly, my mum is a priest, so Halloween was never really going to be a thing in our house. But I wasn’t alone in not having a childhood of carving pumpkins. Continue reading

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‘Don’t lick the sofa’ and other things I say to my child

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK

Yum, yum: ‘That snail is not a snack, Sonny!’

Do you ever hear yourself say something, and then have to laugh at the ridiculousness of what has just come out of your mouth?

I’ve found having a toddler, this happens more often than the pre-child me could ever have imagined possible.

I was pottering a bit in the garden the other day, with Sonny Jim. The weather has been so blooming dire that as soon as even the smallest ray of sunshine can be seen, I bung his wellies on and we’re outside.

Anyway, all was well, until I heard the unmistakable “yum, yum, yum” coming from my two-year-old. Continue reading