Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

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Halloween Miscellany
The year I became aware that Trick or Treat had crossed the Atlantic and washed ashore at Whitby must have been 1984 - my first Halloween in York. Some young boys were brazenly trying their luck up and down the hall of residence where I was living then, though I doubt they got many treats for their pains. Students aren't geared up for that kind of thing.

Tonight was a little dank, but I was still surprised that only one band of marauders knocked on my door, and even they were headed by the girls who live a few doors away - "neighbours' children, that I have seen before". Consequently I have more mini-packets of Maltesers and Milky Way than I know what to do with - except that I know all too well...

I noticed the other day that Tesco has taken to selling bags of small apples (which I suspect they would otherwise have thrown away) as "For Bobbing." Full marks for lateral thinking.

strange_complex's post about The Wicker Man earlier got me to thinking about "Sumer is Icumen In", and hence of course about Bagpuss, the other classic production of the early 1970s to feature that famous lyric. Did you know that only 13 episodes of Bagpuss were ever made? In my memory it is a staple programme of my childhood, but in fact it aired only in the spring of 1974, when I was already a bit old for it - for a period of just three months. Sick transit, Gloria Monday.

I've always blamed E.T. for the advent of trick-or-treating. Not that it's ever got that big a grip here. I bought a tub of sweets last year, gave handfuls to three kids. The same tub is still here, half-empty, untouched today. Nobody called at all.

I wonder if Swizzles and Black Jacks have a use-by date?

I think they're good for a few years. Not so sure about rhubarb and custard, though.

I'm pretty sure those episodes of Bagpuss were regularly repeated. I know I watched it myself as a child, and I wasn't born until 1976. Much the same is true of Mr Benn - only 14 episodes, first transmitted in 1971-2, and yet it seemed to be always on when I was a child.

Oh, that's certainly true - constantly repeated, but never ad nauseam, because after all who could tire of Professor Yaffle and the mice? I did wish that someone would come to Emily's shop to "claim" Madeleine, though.

I hadn't realized that Mr Benn was also such a short series.

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