Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween and a Surprise Visitor

We welcomed a surprise visitor from Toronto last weekend. We met Julia about 8 years ago when she was one of our neighbors on Lamb Avenue. We always really liked her house. Stan said, half-jokingly, "Julia, if you ever want to sell, call us before you call a real estate agent." Well, guess what -- she did! A few months later, we dragged all our stuff up the street and moved into that house that we loved! Julia has remained a good friend and we were very flattered when she took a day out from her week in London to trek down to Oxford for a visit.

The autumn colour is in full swing - you wait until November for the vibrant colour here.

Christchurch dining hall is the inspiration for the dining hall in Harry Potter, although I think most of these tourists thought it was actually filmed there. Apparently there is a replica of it it in some film studio somewhere. However, walking around Christchurch college, so much of it is instantly recognizable from the films. Many of the actors are from Oxford and surrounds. I've never seen them, but apparently the twins are always out-and-about around town.

The girls are always fascinated by the candles in cathedrals.

And then came Halloween. I stuck to my guns and we didn't buy new costumes this year. I am trying so hard not to accumulate in our last few weeks. So Hannah set to work on an old pillow case and Mira put on Hannah's costume from last year. We didn't end up with the most original costumes, but c'est la vie! While it's popularity is growing, Halloween doesn't cause the mass sugary hysteria that it does in North America. So we set out for the "Halloween Howl," an annual event at nearby Millet's Farm.

I have gotten a lot of mileage out of the face paint I bought just a couple of weeks after our UK arrival!

The girls are listening to the "scarecrow" before setting out on the "Trick or Treat trail."
Millet's Farm has a great garden centre and as part of a Halloween promotion they brought in an animal keeper to display numerous little critters.

I couldn't believe how soft the tarantula felt. If you are afraid of spiders, I definitely recommend holding one of these - really changes your perception!

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