Trick or Sweets
Hurrah, hurrah, there was no ominous knock at our door on the evening of 31 October. We were well-prepared, my wife had earlier in the day purchased a packet of Swizzels ‘Trick or Sweets’. All to no avail. Now we are left with Kojak type lollipops! Perhaps very young, primary school, members of our family might be interested or perhaps we will keep them hidden. After all the packet states that they are best eaten before 31 March 2023!
In the past, we have opened the door to callers, often dressed in frightening black costumes thanks to the parents. It is all very lighthearted but I have asked them a question. What does Hallowe’en mean? Some, but very few, knew the answer.
November 1 is All Saints Day, or All Hallows Day, a Day of Light triumphing over the Day of Darkness immediately preceding it.
All Hallows by The Tower
When we last visited the Tower of London (a time when the grounds of the tower were covered in metal poppies,) we strolled over to the church close by which, to our surprise, is called All Hallows by The Tower. Inside is evidence -understandably- being so close to the river Thames, of the people and traffic that work the river as their trading highway, locally and to the far corners of the world.
November 1 is a day when we think of people we know who are alive and well but make great sacrifices in their daily lives, unknown beyond their immediate family and close friends. These men, women and children are the saints we celebrate on this day. How often have we heard it said ‘Oh you are a saint’ when they have gone out of their way to perform an act of kindness.
In my view, my uncle Bernard is one such person. His wife, Aunty Mary was a fit active person before developing Parkinsons. She was confined to a wheelchair, and he has cared for her over a long time performing all the personal tasks that she could no longer do.
A friend told me quite recently that he has not left his wife’s side for well over a month-apart from shopping- as she cannot manage on her own in, an as yet undiagnosed condition. These are the people who we celebrate on November 1
All Soul’s Day
What about those who have died? We remember them with love on All Soul’s Day November 2 when churches hold a service in the evening for those who wish to come together with others to share thankfulness for the lives of relatives and friends who have made us the people we are but are no longer with us in a physical sense.
Soon it will be Remembrance Sunday – the Sunday nearest to 11 November when in 1918 the guns fell silent. The Royal British Legion has recently sent me a letter (I am a member). I would like to share with you part of the message sent. It is their centenary year.
‘Founded in 1921 in the aftermath of the 1st World War, the RBL has supported and helped members of the Armed Forces, both men and women. In 2020, guidance and support was provided in their Pop-in Centres to 104,000 people across the UK. There were 180,000 calls on their helpline and 1,300, who during their time in the Armed Forces had acquired hearing loss or Tinnitus, were helped with grants.’
Years ago, I spoke to a sergeant in the Scots Guards. He told me that many of his soldiers had no home to go to so the army was their home.