| 11.5°C Dublin

Hallowe'en's here already -- and I'm scared stiff!

Are the kids really off school again? Didn't they only go back last week? At least that's what it seems like anyway. It's all so confusing at the moment because Christmas ads are being shown on the telly (there should really be a law against them being aired before Hallowe'en) and it's still mild.

Apart from that day last week, when Ireland nearly sank under all the rain, it's still warm enough not to wear a coat. So I almost forgot it was Hallowe'en.

I'm going to a fancy-dress party tonight and I simply can't stand dressing up. Ever since I went to a fancy-dress party as a nun while every other woman in the room was dressed as a tart, and nobody spoke to me, I have a fear of theme-related evenings.

So when somebody asked me what I was dressing up as this year, I honestly thought they were joking. I don't know where that old nun's outfit is these days and, as a mummy whose child is starting playschool this week, I don't think it's appropriate for me to turn up anywhere as a tart.

But apparently I must dress up. The organiser of this party has said it's just NOT ON for people not to turn up in suitable attire.

I am racking my brains here. I mean, I could have turned up as an air hostess but I threw out my trolley-dolly uniform years ago.


Maybe I could not blow dry my hair after washing it, and turn up as a scarecrow? Or simply not wear any makeup? Now, that would be as scary as dressing up as a witch.

My son, Gary, is going to the party as Peppa Pig's little brother, George. He has a mask and a toy dragon just like the cartoon character. But I'm wondering, as his mother, should I go as Mummy Pig? I've put on a good bit of weight recently so I wouldn't need much of a disguise. Oh, the dilemma!

On the invitation it also says that I need to bring along a theme-related treat. Obviously, to keep up with the Joneses, I need to produce something impressive.

I've got this recipe for pumpkin orange cheesecake from www.mykidstime.ie, a website which is an absolute godsend for parents like me wishing to amuse their kids over the mid-term break. I'm going to try to make the cake for the party.

A friend phoned a while ago and asked whether I made Gary's outfit for the party. Made it? Who has the time to be making outfits? But apparently some people do. One mother has spent three days with a sewing machine, making matching outfits for herself and her daughter. They are going as cupcakes.


Every time I think I've heard it all, it seems I haven't. My mother didn't have to put up with this. The kids in my day wore old white sheets and dressed as ghosts, or else used their mothers' make-up to become witches. If you got a mask from a shop that was a bonus. Life was a lot simpler back then.