I've never been a big fan of Halloween. Actually let me qualify that, I'm not a fan of the Americanised version of Halloween that seems to have taken a grip over the last ten years. When I was a child I'd only ever seen trick or treating in 'Meet me in St Louis' and there were certainly none of the Halloween goods in the shops there are now. Let's face it, Halloween is big business these days but, sorry Halloween enthusiasts, it annoys me.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a sucker for a bit of creepy shennanigans but I just object to the commericalisation of the ocassion. I'm not a compete misery however and always make sure I have adequate supplies of gelatine based, E number laced sweeties in (thank you Haribo) for any children passing by and I don't hide in the house with the light off with a grumpy expression on my face. Honest!
So how was it that I ended up going to a Halloween party? Well, S asked me to come to do some of our spookier songs with her before our friend R (parapsychologist and member of the Magic Circle) did a mock seance. The journey to Cambridge was easy until I got into the city itself where I became completely confused, eventually being rescued by a kind lady taxi driver (thank you so much kind lady taxi driver wherever you are.)
S and R had arrived before me and as the smoke, issuing chokingly from the smoke machine in the hall, parted I saw the two of them in the kitchen (where else?). The host and other guests were all highly intelligent scientists, none of whom I actually knew. A quick scout around the room soon told me there were unlikely to be any eligible males, so what with that, getting lost and the prospect of teetotal fun I wondered if I'd made a mistake.
Reader, I enjoyed myself! The scientists were very taken with the theremin and asked loads of questions afterwards. S said it's the first time she's asked someone if they understand the concept of 'stray capacitance' and they say 'yes'! Our host played the guitar for us in 'The Wife of Ushers Well' and I rather liked that. Making music together is one of the best ways to bond with people I find as you all work together to create a special atmosphere for just a few minutes. Of course the downside is that when you work with people you can think you really like or love them and then realise afterwards that you were kidding yourself but it's nice while it lasts.
Our performance was followed by R's 'seance'. More alarming in many ways than the prospect of raising the dead was the fact that about twenty people were crammed into a tiny bedroom and that the floorboards might not hold us all! R handled the situation with his usual wit and aplomb (that'll be £10 R) and soon we were all holding hands in the pitch dark and items marked with luminous strips were 'flying' around the room. I wasn't crept out at all until suddenly he called on the spirit of a musical hall artiste and she appeared in the corner of the room looking rather ghastly. Of course she was one of the other guests but it was a surprise for me and I nearly wet myself! Seems everyone else had seen the 'seance' before and knew what was going to happen but I was a lamb to the slaughter!
Oh and teetotal fun isn't too bad. I enjoyed getting up this morning with no headache and nothing to be embarrassed about. Might even do it again!