It’s called guising!

Monday October 31st 2016

Christine Grahame MSP in Parliament Main

Christine Grahame MSP for Mildothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale writes her monthly column for Midlothian View

Whit’s Trick or Treat?

Now I know I’m already onto a loser complaining about the Americanisation of Halloween because even BBC Scotland refers to October 31st as Trick or Treat! I would complain to the Beeb but what’s the point as when I have done it before not even an acknowledgment wings its way back.

Now I am pleased that the pumpkin has replaced the tumshie. It was hell to carve out and took ages with pretty limited results – though Guising without the smell of candle burning turnip is not the same. Children too never DO anything, quite often asking “please to help the guy” a bit of a confusion with Guy Fawkes’s night.

Now you not only don’t have to struggle with the resistance of the tumshie, you don’t even have to make up your guising outfit. For 7 or 8 quid you can be a ghost, a witch, a spaceman straight off the shelf. Next you’ll be able to buy craved pumpkins or maybe you already can.

I know you can buy plastic versions for recycling use next Halloween – if you can find it. I was usually draped in a bed-sheet with strict instructions “not to dirty it”. This was a bit difficult what with the chimney soot all over my face.

One year I made Guising outfits for my two sons comprised of two large cardboard boxes which had contained large electrical goods. To these I had added bits of cooking foil and other silver bits to make them look like robots. There were holes of course for arms and head. Not having Blue Peter skills they were constantly being asked what they were. That was embarrassing enough but the big problem came when they were invited into houses in the village where we lived to do a “turn”. Those boxes made it nigh impossible for them to squeeze through doorways so by the end of the night the boxes had lost their foil and looked as if the Post Office had taken revenge on them. Let’s just say the next year it was sheets or nothing.


While I’m warming to my seasonal topic, I would like to whinge about the use of fireworks well before (and after) November 5th.

I’ve had a few e-mails on this from pet owners and agree entirely that there should be more control over the sale and use. Mr Smokey (rescue cat) was disturbed from his slumbers by the fire last night as what sounded like rounds of close gunfire shattered the silence. Fortunately though perturbed the fire was more of a distraction. However had he been out and about on his evening patrol to catch the mice moving from under the shed, he could have bolted and not necessarily though the cat-flap.

It is no laughing matter, however the control of fireworks is reserved, that is it is not within the powers of the Scottish Parliament –how I wish it were.


Now I confess I watch this and the “results” programme but please please will the public stopped voting for Ed Balls out.

Who are these people? This is not party political but he is a rotten dancer and other decent folk are leaving. Why is it that former politicians (I’m thinking of Ann Widdecombe too) believe they are doing anyone a favour by being the comedic turn?

It reminds me of Burns “O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us!” But then Ed might not have read Burns. He’d be better doing that than prancing around on a Saturday night.

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