“Don’t Gobblefunk Around with Words”

NEWS PHOTO SU ANDERSON 30-9-11 Ethan Carr as Willie Wonka, Samuel Garnham as the BFG, Ellie Gooding as Mrs Fox, Frankie Fisk as the BFG, Freya Nyberg as The Fantastic Mr Fox, and Joe Brown as Grandpa Joe get into character during the Dahlicious Dress-up Day at St Matthew’s Primary School to raise money for Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity.

I hate working weekends, but I couldn’t let today pass without talking about my favourite author because it’s ROALD DAHL DAY!!

I love Roald Dahl so very much even though I didn’t read a Dahl book until I was in eighth grade. Matilda was selected in my reading class (yes a whole class devoted to reading!) and I was asked to read a bit of it aloud. My teacher commented on how nice I sounded and boy did that make me feel good.

Sure I’d seen Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and one of my personal favourites, The Witches, but it wasn’t until 2008 when I lost my beloved dog Baby that a Dahl book really took hold of me. I flew home to Florida to be with my family because my dog was very much like a child to me and that was the first time, as an adult, that I turned to children’s books.

I bought “Danny Champion of the World,” “The Secret Garden,” and “Alice in Wonderland,” to help get me through that tough time. I think there was something innocent about children’s book that made me feel hopeful that things would get better.  They did get better eventually, but the feeling of hope in children’s literature continues to endure.

Danny has become my favourite Dahl book after subsequently reading his entire collection. My second favourite is “Boy,” Dahl’s book about growing up in Wales, taking trips up the Fjords in Norway and generally being a disobedient pupil. I love finding out the situations that helped formed people I admire.

I was really bummed to find out I’d missed when the Dahl family opened up the garden where Roald wrote a lot of his books for a charity scheme. I would love to see his writing hut and his armchair where he dreamed up cherished characters. (I really do hope someone susses out how to preserve his hut for future generations of fans.)

By the way, I recently heard a podcast where they said the correct way to pronouce Roald is like Roo-all so his name rhymes. I’d expect nothing less from the man who gave us Oompa Loompas.

*The photos are from Roald Dahl day at a primary school in Suffolk a few years ago.

Do Signed Books Have More Intrinsic Value?

I don’t usually turn arguments between my husband and me into a blog post but the one we had the other night has stuck with me. My husband took a book, which he mistakenly mixed up with one I had bought for him, into the bathtub to read. Now I don’t begrudge my darling hubby his favorite pastime even though it leaves most of his books warped and waterlogged, but I do when it is my book he gets his wet, wrinkled fingers on.

Okay you’re probably saying “So what, it’s just a book,” unless you are a bibliophile or librarian of course who is instead scoffing at the idea. But it wasn’t just a book. It was a book from my to-read pile that was signed by the author. Now I’m not someone who likes getting autographs, in fact I cringe whenever I see someone doing it (or the new equivalent of taking a selfie with a famous person- bluhh) but I made an exception and stood in a very long line at Jon Ronson’s book reading a few months back.

I was pretty chuffed with the book and added it to my bookshelf rather than on my ever expanding leaning tower of books on my bedside table. My husband read the book I actually bought him ages ago and left his sodden copy on the bookcase and forgot about it.

So now to get to the point of this post- does having a book signed by the author increase its intrinsic value? The author’s John Hancock doesn’t make it a more enjoyable read nor does it inflate the monetary value (of course this isn’t true in all cases- I’m talking contemporary tomes here).

Having my booked signed by Jon Ronson made it a memorable moment for me and I can always look at the book and remember having a little banter with him, but I don’t know if that adds anything but sentimental value.

I’ve only ever had one other book signed by an author and yes I had my photo taken doing it- gasp! It was on my graduation day from my university and I had just spent four years studying the author’s work for my anthropology degree (yes, I know I’m a photographer. Well I’ve got one of those degrees too. Great, now I sound like I’m boasting. Oh never mind.)

JANE GOODALLFamed chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall gave our commencement speech, even speaking in chimpanzee in the process. I love her work and I was super excited to find that she would be in our bookstore doing a signing. I took my family over there and we all bought books for her to sign (which annoyed me because my mom and sister only knew her by name and jumped on the band wagon where as I was a “real” fan). When it was my turn I asked her if it was okay if I took a photo with her and what now exists as proof this happened is an awkward photo of me standing over the slight woman.

And the book? Well, it’s somewhere in my storage unit in Florida. The kicker is that I never read it. I tried too but once you are free from four years of reading books just like that I felt I needed a break. I don’t think I even would of bought it if I wasn’t intending to get it signed.

I do have one other signed book on my bookshelf. It’s a copy of “The Worst Witch” signed by Jill Murphy. I found it at a bookshop in Southwold one day and snapped it up without a second thought. Until now that is. Why did I buy a book that the author didn’t sign for me? There is no “To Su…” on it like the one that dons a page of my Jon Ronson book. I didn’t even see Jill Murphy sign it from a far. I have absolutely zero connection to the signature other than owning the pages on which it sits.

So what’s the point? Did I fall victim to a marketing ploy? Or I am just as silly as the people who get rock stars to sign their breasts (because regardless of how much you try it will wash off eventually ladies… and gentlemen)? Don’t get me wrong, I love having a signed copy of “The Worst Witch” and maybe that will make me treasure it more than an unsigned copy would have?

I totally get that book signings generate revenue for the authors because like me with old Jane Goodall I wouldn’t of bothered if she hadn’t been there in person despite her best chimp chat.

Maybe it’s a way for us mere readers to feel more connected with the people who control our favourite characters and their universe or maybe, thinking like a true cynic, it’s worth it to get the signature because the book will be worth more mullah posthumously.

I don’t know is the answer. And I think it will have to remain an enigma for me unless anyone else has a better explanation. Maybe a soak in the tub will give me better insight? Hey! Where’d all the bubbles go??

Su, she eats Sushi

I love sushi! I eat it for lunch all the time and since I’ve gone vegan it is often my only option. I even carry portable chopsticks in my work bag- yeah I know how nerdy that sounds.

I can still remember the first time I ever had simple California rolls. My high school friend, who was always more sophisticated than me, took me to the posh grocery store in Stuart where there was a sushi counter. This was the late nineties, before every Publix got their own sushi stations, and I felt quite exotic. We took it to the Stuart band shell and noshed.

I have to admit I did NOT like it the first time even though I pretended I did. In fact I think it took many tries before I could wrap my tongue around the nori. But once I took Japanese in university I was hooked as my classmate and I would go to Syracuse’s only Japanese restuarant. When I was on my semester abroad in London, our photo teacher would host sushi nights because it was a cheap way to feed a bunch of poor students.

I have a fond memory of the first time I tried to roll sushi myself. I was back in Florida and I did a themed night where my niece (who was 15-ish at the time) and I dressed in kimonos and watched Lost in Translation. My sushi came out horrible! But its the taste that matters, right. Right??

I have come a long way since then and I can roll with the best of them now. I make my California rolls three ways. I got a rice cube in my stocking a couple Christmases ago and I purchased a smaller rice mould at an Asian food shop. But really I think the traditional rolls are the best because they are quick and yield a lot more than the individual cubes.

I use Marks and Spencer’s Sushi Rice, which doesn’t require sushi vinegar, but I do use the vinegar to wet my fingers so the rice doesn’t stick. For the rice cubes I just cut up the sheets of nori into little strips and I just wrap them around the rice. Pretty easy.

I really think the key to a good sushi roll is the pressure you use. When you start to roll with the bamboo matt you need to pull all the ingredients in towards you- pretty similar to how you wrap a burrito.

I was at Field Day music festival this past weekend and I had two or three stalls I could choose from. One of my options was Sushi Wraps. Basically they were identical to the rolls I make, but they put the soy sauce inside the roll and the serve it exactly like a burrito instead of cutting it into pieces. Its funny I never thought about doing that before. It was really good and I really enjoyed having the soy sauce mixed in rather than used as a dip and it had my favourite ingredients: avocado, peppers and cucumber. The next time we need a picnic food I am considering doing this.

I Think I’m Turning Veganese…

I REALLY THINK SO.

I have made the plunge. I am purging my supplies of anything made from animals and/or made by companies that test on animals. This change coincides with my decision to go vegan.

I have found that out of all my toiletries only three items were cruelty-free. My body wash, my face wipes and my lip scrub. I have worn Bare Minerals makeup for years, which is one PETA’s cruetly-free companies but their parent company, Shisheido, isn’t cruelty-free because they sell in China (China evidently requires all cosmetic products imported to be tested on animals- Way to go China!). My decision will be made easier as their make-up is not vegan and therefore I will be replacing it anyways.

I had thought about switching all my make-up to Body Shop but then I find out that their parent company is Loreal and therefore not cruelty-free! But Body Shop has actively fought animal testing for years (I remember purchasing an “Against Animal Testing” badge when I was 15 on a visit to Palm Beach) so I’m a bit conflicted.

PETA’s take is that by supporting Body Shop we are telling the big corporation that consumers care about fighting animal testing and hopefully we can convince them to change their practices. I’m still deciding how I feel about supporting a shop with big bad parent company. Can children really be liable for their parent’s decisions. Ugh I’m not sure.

I am lucky in the UK to have two High Street shops that are against animal testing. Besides Body Shop there is Lush, which can be overwhelming with all their similarly packaged products (most of which can be recycled in store).

Annoyingly I have recently bought two products from Body Shop that I thought were vegan but are in fact only vegetarian. This was my fault for lack of thorough preparation and not the sales lady.

The next time I went to the Body Shop the sales assistant followed me around the shop with her three ring binder looking up every product I was interested in to see if it was vegan. I felt bad I was taking up so much of her time, but it was nice to have the resources right there. Lush is easier because they label right on the front of their products if they are vegan. I wish Lush would do makeup.

Here’s the list of the products I’ve had to stop using because they use animal products and/or test on animals and the products I’ve picked up instead:

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SHAMPOO
Aussie Take the Heat- Lush Rehab

CONDITIONER
Aussie Take the Heat 3 Minute Miracle- Lush Veganese & Dr Organic Moroccan Argan Oil

BODY MOISTURISER
Vaseline Aloe Vera- Body Shop Satsuma Body Puree

FACE MOISTURISER (DAY)
Olay All Day Moisturiser SPF 15- Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying SPF 15

FACE MOISTURISER (NIGHT)
Olay Regenerist Micro-sculpting Cream- Lush Skindrink

BROW GEL
Benefit Speed Brow- Body Shop Brow and Lash Gel

LIP MOISTURISER
Chapstick Classic – Lush None of Your Beeswax

PERFUME
Chanel Chance- Lush Gorilla Perfume Kerbside Violet (Solid)

DEODORANT
Dove Invisible Dry- Lush Aromaco Solid

These are the two products I mistakenly thought where vegan:

LIPSTICK
Clinque Long Last Lipstick Matte (Mandarin)- Body Shop  Colour Crush Lipstick (Coral Cutie)

BROW LINER
Benefit Instant Brow Pencil – Body Shop Brow Definer

Here are the products I was using that were already vegan and cruelty-free:

BODYWASH
Original Source Mint and Tea Tree

FACEWIPES
Sainsbury’s Tea Tree Cleansing Wipes

LIPSCRUB
Lush Popcorn

There has been one product that is seriously a thorn in my side- Razors! I am still using my Gillette Venus razor because I can’t currently find a suitable alternative. There is one brand online called Preserve that sells razors, but the reviews say they are not good for shaving unless you want to be a bloody mess. Seriously people get on making cruelty-free razors that are actually good! I’m on a mission to find something and since I can not stop shaving (or should I say will not stop shaving) I’m again really conflicted (I feel like that’s happening a lot lately).

This is not an exhaustive list by any means and this change  won’t happen  overnight as it is encompassing my entire wardrobe as well. Finding a non-leather belt on the High Street is near impossible for even fabric belts have leather bits here and there. I need to take a trip to Brighton again with their myriad veggie/vegan shoe and clothing shops.

The more research I do the more I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. There are so many conflicting (there’s that word again) sources on the internet that I almost long for the time when the only information I had about animal testing was from zines I got at punk rock shows and the 1-800 numbers on the back of cosmetic bottles.

My Kitties

I have no excuse for not doing a blog post in months. I just didn’t want to. I have been busy being a mommy to two kittens who we got in January and have turned our lives upside down.

They are Tonkinese, which is half Siamese half Burmese. They talk a lot like Siamese cats but they are super active like Burmese.

Maya, my little girl, was the runt of the litter and had hissing problems when she was really young (which actually made us want her as we like the underdog- er cat). She is really smart and when I say they are dog-like I mean it.

Maya has a little sardine filled with catnip that we throw and she fetches it and brings it back to us. She plays fetch for hours! When we get home we look down at our feet or next to where we are sitting and what do we find but her little sardine. It is really very sweet. She is also the only cat I’ve ever seen that loves to be picked up and held like a baby. We walk around with her giving her little bounces. She can also climb up your legs and chest to your neck when we let her nails grow out.

Mingus is massive! He was actually smallest of all the boys in the litter but when he came to us he just began to grow and grow. We had to separate Maya’s bowl because he would finish his and eat hers. Maya is so small and agile that she can jump up onto our island for her food but big ole Mingus sits on the stool and gazes up longingly. Mingus (aka Mingy or Ming-a-Ling) is very loving and hates when we go to bed at night. We have a little cat and Su chase around the sitting room as I try to get him away from our bedroom door. They can’t sleep with us because they are way too nocturnal!

We have turned in to cat people. Most of our conversations revolve around our cats. But I wouldn’t change a thing. They have made our lives better and we love them dearly- even if they moan a lot (I mean a whole heck of a lot).

*Maya and Mingus are actually bigger now then in the photos. They’re growing up too fast!

Brussels

So I haven’t posted in earnest on this blog in awhile. Its been a mixture of being busy at work, dealing with unpleasant work-related stuff, it being the holidays and well I think I’ll add a little general laziness into the mix.

But in the month in between my last post I’ve:

-Gotten very ill with the flu (thank you darling husband for your lovely germs)
-Gained five pounds (thank you Paris, Thanksgiving, co-workers with mince pies and candy, and of course waffles and chocolate!)
-Gone to Brussels where I did the waffle and chocolate consuming (its Belgium! Its required)
-Done something exciting, which I can’t talk about for a whole month!! But I wanna!!
-And gotten shortlisted as News Photographer of the Year for an East of England media award!

But this post is really just about Belgium. Billy and I headed to Brussels on the 20th for four days in the home of the European Union (which is really disappointing to see in person since it isn’t very well labeled and we walked past it multiple times before giving up).

Billy’s birthday is December 23rd and because of this he is usually jipped quite badly and therefore didn’t (before he met me anyways) get to do anything special for his big day. So this was his birthday present along with awesome noise-cancelling Bose headphones from his awesome wife (that’s me!)

My luck, I started showing signs of sickness  a few days before and despite a whole heck of a lot of vitamins and green drinks I woke up the day we were leaving with a super sore throat. Bleck.

It didn’t stop our holiday though. We headed to St Pancras station and boarded the Eurostar. Again I was amazed at the ease of traveling by Eurostar. Security takes shear minutes and once inside there is usually enough seats for everyone (not like the last time we were in Stansted).

We got into Brussels around 4pm and after a few false starts trying to navigate the metro system (it is seriously the worst labelled metro in Europe) we made our way to our awesome hotel- 9Central. It was minimalist design and the bed was the most comfortable ever! I didn’t want to leave.

We spent the next four days walking around the Grand Place, chocolate alley (that’s what we called it anyways), and the amazing Christmas Market. It put the one in Edinburgh to shame.

I found the best waffles by the church that, at night, featured a light display show along with the Grand Place that was really festive. The Belgians really know their holiday stuff.

There isn’t a lot of Belgian food per-se its really like London in that most of their restaurants are Italian, Japanese, Chinese and there was even a Tex-Mex. But the one place that was superb, which we really did visit every day for lunch, was this place called Exki.

It is a chain of healthy food that is fast buffet style but with take-away items similar to a Pret. There was a real leisurely attitude in there along with a wall full of magazines and 30 minutes free wi-fi so I didn’t feel rushed despite the fastness of the food. We really need something like this over here.

BRUSSELS19One of the pinnacle moments of the trip for me was, when walking down one of the streets back to our hotel, we passed a toy shop and in the corner of my eye I saw the most amazing thing ever. Visions of my childhood danced before my eyes as I beheld a Moncchichi!!! Hem-Hem… “Way up in da trees live the Moncchichis. Moncchichi- Moncchichis…”

Much to my husband chagrin I entered the shop and nabbed myself a small Moncchichi Christmas ornament showing serious restraint. There were large Moncchichis and ones dressed as Santa and snowmen!! Oh how I wanted all of them. I’m sorry that my husband didn’t get to experience the Moncchichis in all their glory but I am pleased to know they live on in a shop in Belgium.

But despite my illness, and the one day where I had to go back to the hotel at 3pm to take a nap, we had a really nice trip. We kept saying over and over how much we preferred Brussels to Paris, but we also said that if it weren’t Christmas time we don’t think there would be that much to do. We will be heading back that way in April or May to take Billy’s mum to Bruge for her birthday present.

Au revior mon ami.

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Au Revoir 2014, Bonjour 2015

2014 was a pretty good year. I went home to Florida in April, went to Lisbon for my anniversary in September, Paris for my birthday in November and Brussels in December for my husbands birthday. I feel thoroughly spoiled. I am in the process of working up my Brussels photos and in the mean time here is my annual photo slideshow.

Paris… Je ne te aime pas plus

Oh Paris, how I dreamed of walking your streets, eating your food and sucking up all the inherent coolness your people seem to have. Well, I have to tell you Paris, your food was tres mal except of course for your Crème Brulee and Macaroons. Your streets smelled quite bad and your people were comme ci comme ça.

My husband and I travelled across the channel on the Eurostar. It was my first time travelling to the continent by train and it was wonderful. I didn’t have to faff about with liquids or the weight of my luggage and security took five minutes.

It was really great to get to Paris and to not have to then travel into the city. We arrived smack dab in the middle at Gare du Nord and only had a few metro stops to our hotel in the heart of Montmartre just around the corner from the Moulin Rouge.

It was also right around the corner from the Amelie café where I had been in 2003 with my girl Jess and mistakenly ordered Steak Tartar thinking it would be- well, cooked. We went once for breakfast and had very bad service. The second time we went for afternoon dessert. I had the crème brulee and Billy had the cheese. There were so many tourists coming in and out the entire time. I went to use the bathroom, which was engaged so I looked at a collection of props from the movie. Then I noticed how disgusting the sink was and I decided to hold it and left.

We were only there for one full day and two half days so we tried to fit in as much as possible. We took a boat ride down the Seine and walked along it at the Ile de Cite. The only thing I insisted we queue for was to buy Laduree macaroons. They are seriously the best macaroons- ever! I had them for the first time at the Laduree in Miami’s South Beach earlier this year. MMM.

Inside were gorgeous art deco designs and the queue was out the door and around the block. I got frantic when it was finally my turn and I ordered eight macaroons as they were rather pricey and I knew they wouldn’t last to take back with me. I also bought a little box of chocolate for someone’s Christmas present (I really hope the chocolate is still good by then as it will have travelled to three countries!)

The best part of the trip was meeting the most amazing bulldog Bellush who roamed a bar in Montmartre where her owner was the bartender. Bellush was so sweet and kept coming up to us for a rub and then she crashed out in a chair. The bar got super busy and everyone kept going to sit in the chair and then realized it was already occupied.

This was my third time going to Paris and I have to say that, though I loved my time there, it is not a great as it was ten years ago. A man at Sacre Coeur who was trying to put his hand into my husband’s pockets pushed me. I pushed him away then he pushed me back and boy did I stare him down giving him the evil eye. I get crazy adrenaline in situations like that and I probably could lift a car or something so he’s lucky I didn’t go mental on his ass.

There were so many men selling cheap Eiffel Towers EVERY WHERE!  It made going to the actual Eiffel Tower a bit annoying as these guys approached us every two minutes. It was a nice trip, but I do think my love affair with Paris is over. Ce la vie.

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Throwback Thursday- Paris!

44531-eiffel

My darling husband whisked me away to Paris this past weekend to celebrate my birthday. It was my third time in the city though the last time was eleven years ago. Its funny how different my life changed between each visit.

My first time was in 2001. My mother and I combined our tax returns and bought ourselves one week staying near the Opera. It was a couple of years after my dad died and I just graduated from junior college and had yet to receive my acceptance into Syracuse. I was very unsure of my future and myself and it was pretty scary. My mom and I were just beginning to travel and it was so incredibly exciting to be in Paris.

My second trip was in 2003 towards the end of my semester abroad in London. I went by myself during our November break and met up with my girl Jess and two other girls from my photo class and we stayed in a hostel in Montmartre. This time I was more confident about myself and I was having the time of my life. I remember sitting on the banks of the Seine at night smoking and thinking, “this is the life.”

This photo was taken during this trip, as I seem to remember my photo teacher giving us a challenge to take a “different” kind of photo of the Eiffel Tower. My husband cannot look at it though because it makes him nauseous. I still think its one of my favorite photos from that time.

This time I am a very happily married woman was a steady job in England. I am probably the most confident now than I ever was in my early 20’s. I will put together a post of my photos from the trip soon.

My Favourite Halloween Movies

I am the biggest wuss when it comes to scary movies. Let me tell you why. When I was six or seven I was laying on our pull out couch with my mom, my sister and her best friend who was there for a sleepover. I can’t remember what we were watching, but it couldn’t of been too scary because my mom is a bigger wuss than me.

Anyways there we were watching a movie eating popcorn when the door to the garage, which was next to the tv, slammed open and out came my father wearing a scary Halloween mask as he started up his chainsaw. Yeah. I know. I think we all peed our pants a little and to this day I get super jumpy if anyone sneaks up on me. Even if someone just comes up behind me at work and if I don’t hear them I shriek. Thanks dad.

Needless to say, I’m so not in to scary movies. I spent months recovering from seeing the Exorcist at a slumber party and It in my band class of all places (but only the first half as too many parents complained- if I had seen that the damned clown was only a spider than I probably would of been okay). I had to walk in middle of the street when walking home from the bus stop because the sewer drains scared the crap out of me.

Recently I decided to watch a scary movie called “Mama” by myself because it had Jessica Chastain and Jaime from Game of Thrones. Bad news. I couldn’t shut stand in a room after shutting the lights of by myself for ages.

So when Halloween comes around, which is one of my favourite holidays, I opt for family friendly movies instead. Here is a list of my favourite films to watch at this time of year. There are some spoilers in there, but most of the films are at least a decade old.

The Worst Witch (1986)

I remember one Halloween I can home from school and was helping my mom put candy into Halloween bags (these made it so all the kids got the same amount so no one would complain- it was also my genius idea!). I kept waiting for my favourite movie to come on tv. Finally it was 6pm and I turned on the channel only to find it wasn’t on! I was devastated (or as devastated a kid can be when their expectations are blown).

I learned a hard lesson that day. TV shows in the late 80’s and early 90’s would advertise their timings as 5pm/6pm. I found out that that meant the programme was on at 5pm Eastern Standard Time and 6pm central standard time that didn’t apply to me in my family room in Florida. So I had missed the bloody thing.

I always think of that when I watch The Worst Witch and I think the deprivation may of caused it to become a favourite of mine. It really is a terrible 80’s film but in a way it makes it better.

It stars Fairuza Balk (who went on to be the evil witch teen in The Craft) as Mildred Hubble, Mrs Garrett from The Facts of Life times 2 (she plays twins- one good, one evil) and best of all- Tim Curry as the Grand Wizard! Oh Tim Curry is awesome in it and the song he sings is perfection.

There is another later version of this film, which is based on a book series of the same name by Jill Murphy, but this one is by far the best. And even better, the full movie is on youtube.

It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (1966)

I’ve watched this a million times, but I always get it mixed up with the Christmas special in my head. But needless to say, it’s not Halloween without “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.” I think my favourite is Snoopy as the World War I flying ace battling the Red Barron. Here are the first couple of minutes.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Okay I’m going to admit that this is one of my favourite films- ever! I remember I went to the cinema to see it with my mom when it came out and boy did I have a crush on the kid that (spoilers) becomes the cat. That same kid is now a chubby cast member of NCIS and that crush is no more.

The movie stars Omri Katz from Eerie, Indiana fame (see the Eerie entry down below) as a city kid who moves to Salem Massachusetts just in time for Halloween. He sneaks into the house of witches, who cursed the town when they were hung in the 1700’s, with his cute love interest and unknowingly unleashes the witches. Little Thora Burch adds the comic element (she’s also in one of my favourite Christmas films ever) along with Kathy Najimi as the clumsy witch sister.

I think the worst part of the movie is when Carrie Bradshaw sings a song to lure out all the children. She totally needs to stick to dating Mr Big and away from Broadway like her husband. But seriously if you’ve never seen Hocus Pocus watch it now! Unfortunately I could only find the trailer on youtube.

Casper (1995)

Casper is the last movie I remember watching with my father. I don’t know why we watched it, my dad wasn’t really into films, but we had a nice father daughter moment. I always love seeing the young character’s rooms the most and I can remember Christina Ricci’s room in the haunted mansion being pretty awesome.

This is just a cute film to watch that does have a Halloween seen towards the end when (*spoilers*) Casper comes down as a super hot kid that totally didn’t match his personality at all. I found the whole movie but there are annoying subs.

The Lady in White  (1988)

This is the only scary movie on my list. And when you watch it to the end its actually not as scary as it seemed. Its kind of more like a thriller instead staring Lucas Haas as a kid who (*spoilers*) gets locked inside a closet in his school on Halloween when he sees the ghost of a little girl and then gets attacked by the girl’s real life murderer. I remember watching this by myself when I was 11 or 12 and being a bit scared, but not too much so you should watch it if you want a good ghost story. And best of all, the whole movie is on youtube.

Halloweentown (1998)

This movie came out around the time my dad died in September 1998. When Halloween came around I wasn’t in the mood for Trick or Treaters as that was usually my dad’s role so instead I sat in the family room and binge watched whatever I could find on tv.

This movie is bad. It really is, but I think it came at a time when I wanted harmless, non-gory films. Now I think about it fondly and will make an effort to watch it every couple of years. There were several sequels to this movie, which are even worse than the original, but if you want a simple tween kind of film, then this is your movie.

The Monster Squad (1987)

Unlike the other movies in my list, this one isn’t about Halloween. But it does contain all of the characters to make the ultimate monster movie. Dracula leads this rag tag gang of monsters like the mummy, Frankenstein’s monster and the swamp thing that terrorises this small town. Luckily there is another rag tag group of misfit Tweens chock-a-block full of monster facts that are the only ones who see whats going and fight to take back their town.

The heart warming turn by Frankenstein’s monster will warm your heart just long enough for the creepy as hell Dracula to tear it out of you. This movie is the perfect amount of scary for a 13 year-old kid and has loads of 80’s nostalgia for us 30-somethings. Here’s the full movie.

Fun Size (2012)

This is a fun little movie starring Victoria Justice and Tessa from Suburgatory, who are trying to get to a party but lose a little brother in the process. Said little brother teams up with the guy from Silicon Valley and shenanigans ensue. Here’s the trailer:

HALLOWEEN TV SHOWS

Eerie Indiana- America’s Scariest HomeVideos (1991)

Eerie, Indiana was one of my favourite tv shows. I’m pretty sure it was on Saturday mornings, once Saturday started being less about cartoons (I really mourned the loss of Saturday morning cartoons). In this episode Marshall Teller and his best friend, and the only other normal person in town, Simon are heading out to hunt monsters when Marshall’s mother tells them to watch Simon’s little brother as she has to go rescue Mr Teller who’s car broke down.

While watching a monster programme on tv Simon’s brother gets sucked into the show and if he’s in there, where did the mummy go? I loved this show and was really bummed it only lasted a couple of seasons.

Suburgatory Season 2 Halloween Episode (2012)

I love this tv show so much and I’m super bummed it got cancelled. This is a great Halloween episode where Tessa and the gang dress up as Scooby Doo characters. Me and my friend Meg did that our senior year of uni- I was Velma- so it makes me nostalgic. I can’t find the whole episode on youtube, but its totally worth downloading all the episodes and have a binge.