Friday, 1 November 2013

1st of November

Always All Saints' morning in all ways the same: cold house, withered jack-o'-lanterns, piles of plates by the sink.

Turnips, rutabagas, swedes. Here they call them neeps. And that was what we carved out this year, scoring with knives and scraping with spoons at the hard roots for a long while to make 'neepy lanterns' that could be carried through the streets with glowering eyes.

They also keep bare hands warm in the cold, and give off a delicious burning smell.

A friend carved a pumpkin too.

And tonight there are roses and lilies on the table, and Hokkaido pumpkins that are waiting to be eaten. Outside there are crackles and bursts from firecrackers, and sometimes just a soundless burst of shuddering light from far off where sound doesn't reach.


  1. I didn't carve anything this year... but, I did sit with the ancestors in the moss garden, listening to owls and coyotes. Walking through streets with neep lanterns sounds enchanting :)

  2. No pumpkins for me this year. No place to put them. I did light some candles in late evening and spend some quality time visiting with my ancestors. Hoping your night went well. Happy November 1st.

  3. oh, how magical!! i've never seen that kind of lantern before, for walking around with?? that's fantastic. and of course, yours have such character...i love them :D

  4. I love your neepy lanterns!
    The walking them through the streets, reminds me of the German tradition I learned when I moved here, where children make paper lanterns and carry them lighted through the streets on the night of St. Martin's day, November 11th, singing songs as they go.

  5. These were the Hallow'een lanterns of my childhood in north east Scotland. None of this new-fangled nonsense of pumpkins!