Pete, Nicola, Lola, 9, and Nell, 6, spent three happy months during summer 2007 traveling around Britain. Now we’re home but the travel bug is still there. Join us for the occasional sightseeing plus tips on how to shrink your carbon footprint.
Mexico does All Souls Day (1 November) the best with its sugar skeleton sweeties, picnics by the graveside and general communing with absent friends and family. For Halloween (31 October) this year Lola, Nell and their friend Izzy tried to outdo the Mexicans by dressing up in the most eccentric ghost costumes (props included a cuddly otter, decorative masks and a Dr Who scarf) and then trawling around their home patch hoping to get handfuls of sweets. Wherever we saw a pumpkin we stopped but the best decorated house went to a family in Aubert Park who decided they’d rather children came to them, than their children went trick or treating. Their show included spooky music on the loudspeaker, silly cobweb string all over the hedge, bits of bleeding corpse (stuffed jeans if you must), mock gravestones and moving skeletons - a fantastically horrible Halloween success.
Everyone was so friendly this Halloween, reminding me again what a great area this is to live. But a few days later I watched The End of Suburbia with four members of the Highbury Community Association and began wondering just how ready any of us are for living without using so much fossil fuel. The film reveals that peak oil – from then on oil prices go up and quantities go down – has either happened worldwide or is just a few years away. The consequence of switching to renewable energy, living and working locally could be heaven or hell… not unlike the neighbourhood’s opinion of Halloween then.
For a more positive spin on the likelihood of a resurgence of local life than The End of Suburbia offers see www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk.