Halloween is not as big of a holiday in Britain as it is in the U.S. I prefer it that way, actually. I'm not a huge fan of Halloween. I think that it can be overblown and I don't like the emphasis on the scary.
But when you spend Halloween with friends and help throw fun Halloween parties for young families, then Halloween becomes what it should be--a holiday to help people draw closer together through good fun.
Here's what made this Halloween a weekend to remember:
1. Dead Friday at the Ashmolean.
We didn't know what to expect for this event, but it ended up being a conglomeration of ways cultures recognize death: from ghost stories, skeleton puppet shows, and a Roman funeral procession. The marvelous Mariana acted as a professional mourner for the funeral procession. She did a convincing job.
2. Dressing up.
I went as a Russian serf. Mary stole the show as Mary Poppins.
And now some shots of me as a true Russian peasant (aka, get ready for some serious Russian faces):
[my favorite picture of the night. jolly mary and sad serf.]
3. Apple crisp and competitive card games.
4. Corpus Christi Chapel at night.
5. Family Halloween parties.
6. Seeing darling children in their creative Halloween costumes.
7. Yellow moons over misty fields.
8. Oxford just feels so perfect for Halloween. I mean, look at these spiderwebs:
[these aren't decorations. these are spiderwebs in morning dew. it's like the spiders were planning their own halloween party.]
9. Fireworks. On Halloween.
10. These people (and others not pictured):
I love the people I get to interact with here. Truly, I am surrounded by beautiful souls. And I am grateful our paths have crossed at Oxford. I had a moment on Saturday night, standing in a medieval alleyway close to Pembroke College, when I looked up at the stars and just felt happy. A kind of happiness that fills you up like apple cider and jelly-filled doughnuts; the kind where a place in your chest expands--relaxes--and you truly breathe in your surroundings and know that you are in the right place at the right time.
A truly happy Halloween.