Wednesday, 1 November 2017

1st November 2017 - Of Brooms, Burglars and White Rabbits

Thought for the day:"I had a happy childhood. My dad would put me inside a tyre and roll me down a hill. They were Goodyears."

So the American influence once more creeps into the British Society as I found myself last night dressed up as a zombie - wondering the streets of Aylesbury with about 20 children in various states of costume and dress begging around the houses....

Meanwhile Susie was back at the house with a purple Witch Mask on her face ready to pounce out on those who dared to call at the door and yell!!   bringing at last two young children to tears to the delight of their parents...  Oh yes - the parents are fully involved which is a good thing it seems to me - as though the streets in the area are quiet - a gaggle of kids streaming across road in the dark is a good recipe for disaster... 

So accompanied by a Clown, a young Dracula and a Victorian Lady and her butler we would our way around the streets. The trick is to look for the pumpkins outside the door - especially the ones that are lit. This is the universal signal that the resident is happy to have someone knock on the door. This is a vast improvement upon the Early Morning calls we used to get on New Year's day in Wales where the children came around to sing carols - which was no good if you had not found your bed until 6am !!!
No, like Gandalf scratching upon a Hobbit hole saying "Burglar lives here" or the thieves and vagabonds of old scraping their symbols on gates to show which houses had rich pickings - the pumpkin is now a ticket to get sweets ....  And so the sugar rush continues...

Devon Police recently identified many of the signs used by burglars..

But of course the high point of this form of message was the depression in the US

During the Great Depression in the U.S. itinerants who travelled state-to-state on the railroad looking for work and living rough - called 'hobos' - would use symbols to direct, help and warn their brethren.
Symbols from the 'Hobo code' would be scrawled with chalk or coal on houses, posts, gates, bridges, railroad yards and other places.

As well as helpful advice like 'housewife feeds for chores' and 'can sleep in barn', there are warnings such as 'man with a gun' and 'dishonest man'.

Hobos needed all the help they could get as they faced a hard and dangerous life as they rode the railways.
In addition to the problems of being looked down on, poor, far from home and frequently sleeping rough, they also had to face the railroads' security staff, nicknamed 'bulls', who were often quick to use violence against trespassers.

But back to Aylesbury and the witch at the door ....
Couldn't find the broomstick that cam with the witch and the batteries were rusted through ... but signs of the time - I found a broom for her

And - luckily after about an hour and a half, the youngest is getting tired, the Butler has to go home and the Victorian Lady is getting cold so we manage to make our way back home.... 
But even Google enjoyed a doodle...

Well - until next year - or maybe longer -
and so the month turns and we are now into November

White Rabbits!

And with that -

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