Trick-or-treat One of Harald’s coups was arranging a Halloween Experience for Sophia (and Lulu). Sophia loves dressing-up nearly as much as her mother does, and had been excited about Halloween for at least a month. Americans get way more excited about Halloween than people of other nations, so we had to take advantage on this trip. It turns out Canadians are pro-Halloween as well. When Daniel enquired about Halloween activities by phone the week before we arrived, Harald said there was a place in town where shops offered trick-or-treating for kids. So down to Yaletown we went, the afternoon of the 31st. It’s a pretty trendy neighborhood, which must have one of the highest hair salons per capita in the world. The kids were out in droves, accompanied by their parents and even some grandparents. The best costume we saw was a young Michael Jackson, complete with jheri-curl, single white glove and boom-box. Sophia went as a friendly witch (costume hasily bought from a supermarket in Washington state the day before, I’m ashamed to say. Lulu was a very unscary dragon, in an outfit given to us by Daniel’s sister Emma a few years ago. Daniel and I, pathetically, went only as enthusiastic parents. Harald, amazingly again, was just as into it – even though his own son was away – and took Sophia into several of the participating stores. It was a huge success. Sophia collected unimaginable amounts of candy, and best of all, she was allowed to eat it. Well, some of it.
Claire – On maternity leave from career as editor of monthly finance trade magazines, and occasionally a freelance translator. Half-American/half-English, raised in the suburbs of New York, has lived in London for almost nine years.
Daniel – Furniture designer/maker based on London’s Columbia Road flower market, for ten years, also an aspiring painter and DIY supremo. On one-year career break to reconsider options. English by birth, but mother is half-American and spent part of her childhood in Bronxville, New York.
Sophia – 3.5-year old spitfire who loves school, singing, swimming and being a big sister
Lulu – Born May 8 of this year, a model baby who eats, sleeps and gurgles.
Special guests – American, British and international friends and family who drop in along our trip to see whatever part of the country they fancy. They’re welcome to travel in the car with us and sleep in an adjoining tent.