dEAr diary ~ shopping and ‘Shalloween’

Saturday’s plans changed.  The weather changed – it was windy but a warm wind as if someone had a hair dryer on you.  It rained on and off too.  DH was at a loss as his jobs at the moment are outdoor based.  So I suggested we went to collect the click and collect from Wilko’s in town and then do a few ‘in town’ things finishing up at the local Wyevale garden centre as they had sent me a £5 off voucher (without a minimum spend).

Wyevale’s prices are dear but something free for £5 (if you can find anything for that value) is not to be turned down.

The click and collect (not very exciting – just a car bulb set to keep in the car for DH) was collected then we went round to the library to have a browse.  I only came away with two books – Homemade Christmas and The English Seaside for a bit of nostalgia.Then onto Boots for some Aveeno body moisturising cream – I only buy it when on offer as it is quite expensive but is really good for my skin – having no Thyroid gives you very dry skin.  Of course the larger 500ml was out of stock. Annoying as it is out of stock on the internet too.   I will just have to keep checking.Good as Gold NotebookRound to WH Smiths – DH persuaded me to buy the notebook I wanted as he pointed out it is something I use all the time.  As it happens I had a Love to Shop voucher for £10 given to me at Christmas from my old work place.  So  I bought it and this is now ready for January.

Last stop in town was Marks and Spencers.  For some reason not many supermarkets do Maris Piper potatoes  they seem to favour the Maris Peer (quite different taste) – so I get my spuds from M&S when I can.  The standby Vegetable Crispbakes I get from time to time to keep in the freezer have not made an appearance for ages – probably discontinued – I wish shops would put a shelf note on when products disappear.

We had parked in Sainsbury’s in town – 2 hours free for a £5 spend.  This works out better than handing over £2 for nothing (other than the use of the car park of course!) to the cheapest of the town centre parks.    I might as well have something for the money – we got two organic wholemeal loaves reduced to 40p and topped up with a few tomatoes, a leek and 2 pints of milk to last us to Monday and a box of my organic teabags.

I had a free drink voucher at Wyevale too so when we arrived we indulged in a hot drink each and shared a huge scone for £4.  I think DH is finding all the scrimping and saving a bit depressing as it reminds him of our earlier ‘just had the children’ days when money was tight back then but I see it as a challenge and a way to conserve our emergency private pension fund to use for other things like holidays.  I am also interested to see what it is actually like living on one state pension and can it be done.

I am looking for a planter to put beside our front door for when DH re-stains it and then something to put in it.  (Not sure if the state pension will run to such a non-essential item) but anyway I was not impressed with the range of plants on offer at Wyevale they are expensive and I am not one to make a snap decision about the pot (also expensive) so we came away to think about colour and shape. 

The £5 coupon finishes today so I can’t dither too much, but as always I need to shop around a bit to be certain of what I want.  So a trip to Totties (our local nursery) today it is –  I have a £100 voucher to spend at Totties  –  a leaving gift from work – so I will go and look at their range of pots and plants first and then make my decision.  There is another Wyevale close to this so I can then go and spend my £5 on plants if need be – or should I say a plant!

I must say after yesterday’s shopping trip I was left feeling very frustrated at the way all the shops are pushing this Halloween thing.  I have no objection particularly to Halloween in moderation but every shop we went into had Halloween stuff piled high – even some of the usual items have just been given a ‘Halloween’ makeover – a bit of orange and a black spider web and they can charge more and sell more – a Halloween notebook and pencil set – I ask you what has that to do with anything – it all seems a bit superficial, as Christmas is becoming, as if it is the consuming that is the all important thing rather than the event and there is no stopping it once it starts it all just gains momentum.

And while I am on the subject why are we trying to reduce plastics in one area, like drinking straws and carrier bags which actually had a purpose, and then we are allowing cheap plastic imports of absolute rubbish into the country, and heaps of it.  Most of the cheap plastic items sold for Halloween will end up in landfill eventually (after all our teenage son or daughter will not be taking their plastic pumpkin to Uni with them LOL!).

I do think it is bad of companies to target children with all their marketing strategies when it is also compromising their futures at a time when we are trying to work towards a more sustainable future for them.

At least a pumpkin is a natural item – it can be carved for lanterns, used as decoration and eaten – it will eventually rot down and compost and can be returned to the garden – end of.  And isn’t the fun of Halloween making the decorations and dressing up imaginatively.

My suggestion would be to boycott the plastic ‘Shalloween’ and only buy paper or natural decorations.

Rant over!

What are your thoughts on plastic Halloween?

12 thoughts on “dEAr diary ~ shopping and ‘Shalloween’

  1. Have to say that I completely agree regarding Shalloween and consumerism in general. On the one hand we want to see supermarkets cutting out plastic bags, pre-packaged fruit and veg etc but on the other hand some of us are buying orange plastic pumpkins and throwaway witches hats which encourages the supermarkets to stock them again next year! The plastic filling our oceans is a desperate situation which we have to get a grip on somehow.

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    1. There are so many objectives at odds with one another – maybe we need a plastics policy that they have to be useful not decorative or only used if nothing else is suitable. Surely the plastic pumpkins could be made of recyclable cardboard similar to egg boxes.

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  2. I totally agree with your sentiments about Halloween and every other occasion for that matter. There’s just far too much useless plastic tat in the world. It’s completely obscene. For supposedly intelligent beings, we are doing a great job of trashing our beautiful planet.

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  3. I do like to make a pumpkin pie around Halloween but other than that I have no fascination for Halloween. It is far too commercial, and as you say, full of plastic! We live in such hypocritical times being charged extra for plastic on one hand and then being bombarded with plastic ‘novelty’ items that we are encouraged to buy!

    I like the look of your new notebook – very classy! Have a great week ahead Vivien. x

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    1. Bombarded is a good word for the saturation of novelty goods. The notebook is the same as the one I had for last year and I have loved it. The magnetic wrap around flap allows me to ‘trap’ a pen in there so it is always to hand.

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  4. Never celebrated Halloween or any of the American Trick or Treat nonsense and never encouraged my children to. In my opinion in this country it is a manufactured event. Now Bonfire Night which is British is a different matter altogether.

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    1. It must be wonderful for all the promoters of Halloween that it falls in the school holidays and they can make a week out of the event! Bonfire night seems to be in decline there is hardly any mention of it anywhere especially magazine articles and recipes. They seem to have moved toffee apples and parkin onto Halloween! Maybe as there is no hype or goods on offer to buy the kids these days are not as interested in bonfire night.

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  5. There are not many kids around these days since so many couples don’t have any or just one. We get about 30 kids to our door for Halloween and we’re happy to give out candy (my favourite food group). We have a few paper decorations for the front entry of the house. When Link was younger, we carved jack o’lanterns and made costumes from thrift-store clothes and accessories. Halloween is a major ADULT holiday here with lots of parties, bar-hopping and horror movie marathons. I know loads of people who look forward to it all year!

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    1. I know it is a big event for the Americans and presumably Canadians. Traditionally in this country as we didn’t grow pumpkins we improvised and carved turnips and swedes (very dangerous activity!) to put a candle inside. Trick or treat and the door knocking escalated from me being younger but only really took off when my two girls were growing up. It was never a big event here – we had Bonfire Night on 5th November and that was a big event. It now seems bonfire night is in decline and Halloween has become the major event. It is all the trash that accompanies Halloween and the fact the shops are out to make a profit targetting children to buy rubbish and that is becomming a problem. I don’t know any adults here in my circle that celebrate halloween – but no doubt in a year or two it might be the in thing.
      It is not the only thing now with an American influence due to the TV programs we receive. We (or rather the younger generation) have adopted the prom ball at the end of the school year, sweet sixteen parties and baby showers and we now go to the movies (rather than the pictures), take out garbage and trash (rather than the rubbish) and eat candy (rather than sweets). It is ironic that people think we are losing our identity because of immigration to this country when in fact we are losing our identity through all the American programs the kids watch!
      Have a great Halloween.

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  6. As an American (raised in the UK), I have to say I am sad to see Halloween spread to the UK. And I definitely agree with you on the whole plastics issue. I remember many a Guy Fawkes bonfire night in the villages we lived in and I was always content with that. Since I didn’t move back to the US until my teens, I missed most of the trick or treating of a regular US childhood.

    I no longer hand out candy (you leave your outside lights off and they will pass you by) because people were driving carloads of children to our neighborhood from other locations and it just became too much. I don’t buy my grandchildren plastic Halloween items, preferring to give them books about autumn–and not ones about ghosts and goblins. As I said, I am sorry to see things like Halloween and the Prom transferring to the US culture. These days proms in the US are absolutely out of control with schools holding them at expensive hotels or venues, families hiring limousines and spending hundred of dollars on outfits (dresses/tuxedos) so that the cost for one stupid night is absolutely astronomical. Talk about a waste of resources.

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    1. I think the proms are catching up here – people I know of have hired limousines and the dresses have been about £200 and upwards. It is hard for some kids to keep up with all this without their parents getting into debt like my friend at work.

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