The time of year has come for the winter to officially begin in the Irish calendar.  It is Samhain, and I find it a very scary time of year.  I’m not afraid of the ghosts or witches even though I am currently watching Supernatural.  I also found an old copy of ‘The Witches of Islandmagee’ to curl up with in front of the fire these last couple of days.  I believe myself to be a rational person, and therefore these are not the things that frighten the wits out of me.  No, the thing that has me on edge with terror is the act of watching the lovely Sharon carve a pumpkin. After a minute or so I have to leave the room and ask her to scream if she needs me.

There is an argument around Halloween that goes along the lines that it is wrong to carve pumpkins…….they should be turnips.  It is said that the art of turnip carving originated here and travelled over to America where it became pumpkin carving before it came back to us.  I agree with the use of turnips in principle.  Although I would argue that pumpkins are easier to cut and therefore far less dangerous in some people’s hands.  The thought of the lovely Sharon let loose with a sharp knife and a turnip is a thought that could turn me into an insomniac.  There is one other rather interesting argument for pumpkins though. The goo that coats the seeds of a pumpkin is apparently very good at dislodging internal parasites in chickens.  We had three pumpkins this year.  One of the batches of seeds is in the oven being roasted as the other two batches are now inside the chicken’s stomachs.  It will be good for them in the end, but I imagine they might have wee upset tummies tonight.