Wednesday, November 29


Jo has asked me to post a newsflash to let you know that SHE HAS NEW SHOES!

I take NO responsibility for them...

snow bunny boots

Also, we're heading to Portland for a week on Monday and it's really cold there! We're working on a Florida post as well as an update on Thanksgiving! Stay tuned...

Monday, November 20


I know it has been an insanely long time since I last posted. Jo has been giving me a hard time about letting my loyal blog devotees down. However, in my defence, I have written this Halloween entry THREE times now and each time blogger has wiped it. NOT HAPPY JAN!

Anyhow, it's been pretty busy here the last few weeks and there will be more entries soon. No sooner had Jo arrived and de-jetlagged than we headed to Florida for a week for back to back statistical genetics conferences. More on that one soon, for now I owe you this Halloween entry.

I had never had a Halloween before, so I had little idea of what to expect aside from what I'd seen in films and stuff. The lead up was great. All the stores were decked out in orange and black with lots of ghosts and jack-o-lanterns and such. The usually brilliant single candy isle at the supermarket expanded to a whopping 3 isles! All the candy makers here produce special Halloween fun-size versions of their products, sold in bags bigger than your head. And it's not only the packaging that changes, m&ms are orange and black, hubba-bubba pieces are shaped like pumpkins and you can find all kinds of bleeding body parts made out of gummy jelly (and for some, like the ear I ate, the texture is far too real!)

The other thing that there's suddenly a whole lot of is pumpkins! Up until that point I had only seen uninspiring looking 'acorn squash' and a few rogue butternuts. Suddenly there appeared piles of pumpkins in all different shapes and sizes. Huge ones for carving, smaller ones for putting at your doorstep to look all rustic and Fallie and tiny table decorating pumpkins. Americans seem to love decorating their tables...

I missed out on carving one this year but I'm looking forward to giving it a go next year.

On the Saturday before Halloween I went out to dinner with some friends and at the last minute we decided to go to the fancy dress Halloween party hosted by some of the waitresses at our local pub (the Saucer). Since we were completely lacking costumes and it was 11pm, we raided the kiddy dress up isle of the local supermarket! As a result I went as batman, with a pretty cool mask, and Matt went as Darth Vader with a mask that didn't quite manage to cover his head (so he looked like Darth with an afro!) The party was fun and there were some great costumes, but by far the scariest were the three blokes who dressed up as Saucer waitresses, complete with tiny tartan skirts, long stripey socks and tank tops. eek!

Andrea invited me to go trick or treating with her and the boys on the actual night of Halloween. They live in an 'edward scissorhands' suburb that's very safe and quiet, and the houses were all covered in spooky decorations, so it seemed like a great place to go. I was then informed that this outing required full spooky attire! I used the tricks I'd learnt on Saturday night and headed back to the kiddy costumes, but this time I found a great vampire costume that included a set of wings (I have a thing for wings...) A little alteration with the kitchen scissors and I managed to fit into most of it. The end result was fairly lame, but what do you expect for less than $10!


It's ok, I do know quite how daggy these photos and are I can't believe I posted them!

Anyhow, we had fun. The houses that were 'participating' left their outside lights on, and any that were dark meant you didn't trick or treat there. There was also no tricking, and no real intention of it. I'm not sure how it goes for the bigger kids (who start their rounds around 9pm, after the littlies are worn out, and pick up all the left-overs). Lots of places had really well decorated doorsteps, with lots of carved pumpkins, ghosts, cobwebs, lights and even the odd hay bail (?!) The most full on thing I saw all night, however, was the people who were driving from door to door. No joke!

The loot level was beyond even this candy addicts wildest dreams, and even though we only visited about 10 or so houses we came home with bulging bucket. Or we would have if the buckets could bulge.


Tuesday, November 7

In transit

Jo is on her way! I spent the night/morning tracking the flight using a google earth mod. Very cool, just like being on the plane and watching that map that changes, like, every hour. Delays on either end of the LA flight so I think it turned into quite a long trip. Here's hoping the San Antonio legs is ok (less than 3 hours direct from LA). The weather here is clear, the big storms passed through last night.

Off to do some more tidying... A cover for nervous excitement :) Thanks for all the lovely emails!!

PS. I have some halloween pics that I'll backdate soon...