November 1st, 2019



Last night we bought a small pumpkin and Jane carved it, put a candle in it, and put it on our doorstep, thus signalling to any passing costumed children that we were open to them telling us a joke (or singing us a song) in exchange for some sweets. This is the Scottish tradition of "Guising", which dates back to the 16th century, and is one of the precursors of "Trick or Treating".

Our new home is in a little cul-de-sac, and there are always kids riding their bikes about or throwing a ball, so we wanted to make sure that people knew we were taking part in our tiny community.

We ended up with about 30 kids in total, in groups from 2 to 6 in size, some with parents watching from the end of the drive, some clearly trusted to look out for each other. Mostly they told a joke (and I discovered that 7 year olds don't understand that "That was *terrible*" is a compliment when it comes to jokes), one group did a song all together, and two played instruments (one had a violin, accompanied by her mother on a tiny drum. The other had a melodica).

The older kids made sure that the younger kids all got a go, and they were terribly polite, nervous, and excited. I was delighted with the whole evening, and we're looking forward to next year already. And, in a couple of years, taking Sophia round the neighborhood ourselves.

Sophia loved the pumpkin:

Even more when it was carved and had a candle in it:

This is how you summon the neighbourhood children:

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Interesting Links for 01-11-2019

German farmers sue government over climate change failures
(tags:globalwarming Germany farming )
Piper Announces First GA Aircraft with Autoland Capability.
(tags:airplanes ai automation )
Women MPs say abuse forcing them from politics
(tags:abuse women politics uk OhForFucksSake )
Election 2019: Region-by-region guide to the most volatile election in memory
(tags:elections UK politics )
No, you didn't identify as a dinosaur
(tags:LGBT transgender )
Johnson accused of withholding key report on Russia from voters
(tags:Russia UK elections BorisJohnson )
No, Best for Britain are not a Lib Dem front
(tags:statistics polls advice elections )
Putting Christmas decorations up early makes you happier
(tags:Christmas viaSwampers happiness psychology )
New York City to 'break car culture' and build more than 250 new bike lanes and 1m square feet of pedestrian space
(tags:bicycles transport newyork usa )
Liberalism and Corbyn (needs more detail on Corbyn, but is interesting as it stands)
(tags:politics liberal uk labour )
Acetaminophen exposure in pregnancy linked to higher risk of ADHD, autism
(tags:adhd autism drugs )
Some more details about the AI that can play at StarCraft 2 Grandmaster level
(tags:ai games )
Surviving Software Dependencies
(tags:software design softwareengineering )
Farage just screwed Johnson. Now he either has to switch to No Deal, or fight an election with the Brexit Party fighting against him.
(tags:politics uk europe hope Conservatives )

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