Friday 15 November 2019

Sinead Ryan: 'I can't get into the spirit of Halloween'

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'If I can get over the guilt of closing the curtains, turning off the lights and binge-watching ‘Luther’ on Netflix under the covers from (I reckon) 5-8pm, I still worry I’ll be caught out.' (stock photo)
'If I can get over the guilt of closing the curtains, turning off the lights and binge-watching ‘Luther’ on Netflix under the covers from (I reckon) 5-8pm, I still worry I’ll be caught out.' (stock photo)
Sinead Ryan

Sinead Ryan

For years I did the Halloween thing full tilt. Carved pumpkins, got down from the attic the spooky banshee that wailed menacingly every time the doorbell rang (and also, as it turned out, the oven timer binged, the smoke alarm went off or the dog barked), resulting in lively dinner times for the best part of a fortnight.

I fashioned costumes from cardboard, sheets and Sellotape.

I managed apple bobbing, created sugar rushes for small children, bought monkey nuts nobody would ever eat, bagged up dozens and dozens of small packs of sweets in a misguided attempt to "save time on the night", and lit more candles than a church on novena week.

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I say this because I am convincing myself to avoid it altogether tomorrow. It's not easy to do.

If I can get over the guilt of closing the curtains, turning off the lights and binge-watching 'Luther' on Netflix under the covers from (I reckon) 5-8pm, I still worry I'll be caught out.

In my favour is the fact I've recently moved house so nobody knows who I am in my new neighbourhood.

That means I won't have the worry of neighbours I know and like wondering if I'm "OK" (cue passive-aggressive texts later on), or them trying to explain to their kids why the nice lady in No 4 is being rude because we only bumped into her in the shop an hour ago and now she won't answer the door.

Nor will I need to "put by" some proper branded sweets, not Euro shop tat, for the friends' kids since they'll be standing there expectantly with Someone I Know. Also I won't be contributing to the obesity epidemic, so that's good. Nor am I wasting heat by constantly opening and closing the front door.

I know - it's feeble. But I need the excuse. The proper answer is to go out, like legitimately not be there.

But I don't feel I should be hijacked into that. I'll probably end up racing to the shops at 4.30 breathlessly to buy the place out, again.

Greta joins some famous names at the ugly bug ball

I'm delighted eco-warrior Greta Thunberg has had a beetle named after her. It must be a consolation for not winning the Nobel Prize.

The tiny Nelloptodes gretae is equally thrilled, I'm sure.

An eclectic group of celebs have also had little arthropods called after them including Kate Winslet, John Cleese and Adolf Hitler, which sounds like the worst dinner party ever.

Naming things after people is quite common. There are hundreds of plants for instance, including the Dolly Parton Rose and the Laura Bush Orchid (possibly a little confusing down the garden centre), while Lady Gaga has no fewer than 19 called after her.

It doesn't stop there. Although in homage, I'm not sure the Bob Marley parasite nor the Beyoncé horse fly were thought through (I'm not making any of this up).

My favourite is the Sylvilagus palustris hefneri; the Hugh Hefner Rabbit (insert your own joke).

I suppose it's an honour for some but do pity the celestial body named after its discoverer in 1977, which was found not to be quite so close to the solar system as first thought and was coined Eggen's Nearby Star.

Now 'flextension' digs Boris out of his ditch

BORIS Johnson is already called enough names, and none of them polite. He didn't "Get Brexit Done" after all, and he remains in Westminster rather than in a ditch, as promised. Now the shenanigans are set to continue until (at least) the end of January and we have a new word to add to the already overloaded Brexit lexicon: flextension.

Irish Independent

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