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Melbourne Odds and Ends

Some Halloween joy ~ or we made it, Melbourne

I am not a fan of Halloween.

It is too centred around lollies and sweet things. And all those decorations that, at best, will end up in landfill.

But maybe I am a Halloween grinch because it is not my tradition! We didn’t have it when I was growing up, so I ignore it.

However I felt more fondly towards Halloween this year.

It was a beautiful evening in Melbourne, and we had just emerged, bleary eyed from six long lockdowns over the last 18 months. I went for a walk to the wetlands, a place I have walked almost daily over that time.

And it was alive with ghosts, witches, pirates, zombies, fairies and every other dressed up child. They were going to the houses that boarded the wetlands. There were picnickers, and adults walking with fairies on bikes and zombies on scooters. All around was the sound of children having fun.

These are the same kids that have missed out on parties, sleepovers, school camps, footy training, playing with friends in park, hugging grandparents. I could not begrudge them the joy they were finding in being together to get lollies.

I remembered how way back in March last year I was walking the same area, anxious about how the world would be, worried that we would descend into a dystopian future. Last Sunday I realised that this joyous event was a declaration ~ that we had made it through the lockdowns, that we had worked together (well, most of us!) to make sure the vulnerable were protected, that our sacrifices have given our stretched hospital system some chance.

It’s not over and care, masks and continued vaccinations are still needed, but it was so lovely to see all those kids being kids, the big grown-up kids too!


Melbourne experienced extreme winds last Friday, bringing down trees and power lines. Some homes are still without power. My internet has been off for the last eight days, but came on this morning. Yay!

Now I can catch up with all those tasks that require the internet, including catching up with your blogs. Things are just not the same on the small phone screen.


I respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land on which I live – the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung People of the Kulin Nation, their spirits, ancestors, elders and community members past, present and emerging.

22 replies on “Some Halloween joy ~ or we made it, Melbourne”

I have no feelings about Halloween… but have found it’s what people make of it rather than any commercialism that brings put its best. And that sounds like what you encountered… people needing fun and an occasion to celebrate. It’s been one of the best things about opening up… appreciating the simple joys of things we missed, for ourselves and also witnessing it in others.

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That is so true, Dale. Next year I may grumble about the lollies and the landfill junk, but at the moment I am seeing more than that. It is about people needing to have fun and enjoying the things we used to take for granted.

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I did grow up with Halloween in the US. I know it is out of fashion to say this, but 60+ years ago was a different time. Some of the practices have gone and some new ones have come on the scene. It is great fun for the littlies though, and best experienced if parents can keep some perspective on it. When our daughter grew up here in Australia, it was hardly celebrated except here in Alice where the American population is larger. She had two Halloweens in America and was thrilled about it. It will be interesting to see how she approaches it if she has children. A lot of people love dressing up, as our daughter did, and that aspect is as much fun as the candy for many. I can imagine how nice it was to see people doing something fun in Melbourne after the long slog of lockdown.

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It is great to get that perspective Ardys, and to know that the dressing up is a key part of it. The dressing up would have really appealed to me as a child (and the lollies too, of course!). Thinking about it, it is the only celebration we have where we are encouraged to dress up. When I taught in primary schools dressing up for Book Week was a big part of the year, so I can see the appeal. Thank you for helping me to see that side of it.

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Oh wow ~ 300 lollipops! Lots of people around us had bowls out the front of their houses too. It seemed a really good idea for a range of safety reasons. I love the idea of dressing up as a scientist!

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In the comment above, Ardys reminded me that it is the only celebration that encourages dressing up, and that that is an important part of the day. I think I would have loved it as a child. I was one of those kids who came home from school and changed into a fairy outfit! Now I change into track pants and comfy jumpers, and there may be a glass of wine in there somewhere too.

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Hasn’t it changed our ideas about so many things? We are seeing things from a different angle. It’s rather like an MIR 3D image that we can turn around and see the backs and sides of things that we have only ever seen from the front.
Thanks for your lovely comments about my art. I am happy that the library is open again now, and people have a chance to go in to see my works hanging there.

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Enjoy the lifting restrictions! Melbourne’s done the hard yards.

I used to be anti-Halloween- mainly thinking it was an American import. But then – dressing up, decorating, eating lollies and chocolate, kids having fun. What’s not to love!!! My youngest son loves it. He went to family in the US to experience Halloween and Thanksgiving there. He loved Halloween even more.

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I too am not a Halloween follower but this year in Auckland, it was a complete washout, not helped by the PM saying “it was banned in my region” – too much mixing and mingling and think about the children… I know of a Mum who is part of her sons’ School Mums and the Mums made lolly drops in street mailboxes.

Our lockdown still with us this the evening of Day 82 – We are on some type of alert “roadmap” which apparently is leading some place – maybe I will get fired up when we have got to some other sector to do with “traffic lights”… particularly the one where I could get my hair cut! This is that time when I wish I had curly hair…

In the meantime this vulnerable old lady will stay home, make art, take local walks and use online shopping/delivery for things she thinks she needs…

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I’m not a big Halloween fan although, because of the American influence, it has become much more of a ‘thng’ in the U.K. over the years. My husband was born on the 31st October though so has always celebrated a Halloween/Birthday mix so we generally have a carved pumpkin. However, coming out of strict lockdown, as you are, nothing beats the sound of small children having fun whatever the occasion. Long may it continue.

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I am so glad that you have emerged from the latest lockdown. No wonder everyone felt the need to party! Sorry though about the power cuts and lack of internet. I love the picture at the top of the post – walking in nature has kept me sane during all our restrictions and I imagine it has been important to you too.

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I’m a grinch too, Anne, and while I’m glad the kids had some fun, I wish it could have been something significant to /us/. I’ll go back to grinching quietly to myself now. 🙂

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