EDitorial ± 31-Jan-2005

Windows Update

Middle of the night, last Thursday. There's a noise in the house that's screaming for my attention. Head off the pillow, I realise that one of the kids is actually screaming. Stumbling onto the landing, I switch on the bathroom light, and The Boy emerges, shaking and sobbing: there was a witch in my window, he says.
Witchy, witchy, witchy
Hallow'een is coming
Round and round the starlit sky
Witches on their broomsticks fly
— Sarah-from-down-the-road's spooky song

He'd had bad dreams before, of course, one of which (!) also featured a witch, and, bizarrely, Milo from the Tweenies. On those previous occasions I'd hear him moaning in his sleep, or you'd hear his patter on the carpet before he appeared by the side of the bed. But this one shook him up. Perhaps, as Great Aunty Linda suggested, the witch was returning for her/our black-and-white cat?

Next day he wouldn't go to the loo upstairs alone, and insisted on having the blind lowered. So what did his loving parents do at bedtime? Well, we went out for a lovely meal at Aldeburgh and left some responsible babysitters in charge, who showed him a Godzilla film. As you do.

A long forgotten memory popped into my head today, that I had a thing about witches when I was a nipper. There was a dramatisation of Helen Cresswell's Lizzie Dripping on children's telly, and I bought the book in town. This included a few pencil drawings, and one of these showed the witch looking out of the page, at me! That and the odd shaped head at the end of Star Trek freaked me out.

Anyway, after I-don't-like-my-curtains and more tears and they're going to cook me in a big pot (that's called a cauldron) then put me on a plate, he went to sleep peacefully this evening, thank goodness. May we all have a crone-free night.

Be seeing you!