Halloween themed afternoon

I love autumn and I particularly love October…why you may wonder, one simple reason: Halloween! 🙂
Maybe it’s due to the fact that I have never celebrated it as a child (no, it’s not because I had a sad childhood, but simply because in Italy was not so popular 15-20 years ago), or simply because it is just another excuse to be creative, to dress up and to organise parties.
Falling the 31st on a Wednesday, we all took the chance to double the celebrations and party for two weekend! That was cool! 🙂 A Mexican friend of mine organised a Dia de los muertos themed party and it was amazing how everyone made the effort of showing up properly dressed and made up! And let me tell you…crossing London with that skull make up on has been an experience! 🙂

I thought of organising something slightly different and unusual…well at least for a late twenties/early thirties bunch of people: a Halloween themed afternoon on a Sunday. I think the last time I had some sort of party on a Sunday afternoon was for my 10th birthday or so. When I sent out the invitation for a “pumpkin carving and Halloween-ish food afternoon” I wasn’t sure how my friends would have reacted to this, but surprisingly everyone was quite excited about it.

It was a very pleasant afternoon, we all showed our childish side and this is the result:

Carved pepper with guacamole!

Nutella crostata with marzipan decorations

White chocolate ghosts popsicles

my carved pumpkin with feather eyelashes! 🙂

Halloween table

A few carved pumpkins

 

 

 

 

 

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

When my friends suggested to go to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, I had no idea of what it was about, but the name sounded cool so I said “why not!”. As soon as the show started, I was so glad I decided to go and I could not stop to thank my friends for suggesting it.

First of all the location: the Esplanade in front of the Edinburgh Castle. The show starts at the dusk, and if you are lucky enough and the weather is nice, you will enjoy a wonderful sunset all over the castle. Fantastic.

The show, which last around one and a half hour, is a series of military parades performed by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and International military bands, and it is held every year in August as part of the Edinburgh Festival.

Here you can see a short video I made. I wish I recorded more, but I was getting too distracted holding my camera and making sure I was recording properly, and I certainly didn’t want to miss any bit of the show.

Fantastic, brilliant, sensational. The whole performance was a continuous surprise; it would be very hard to decide which was the best part.

The etymology of the word “tattoo” is also interesting. It comes from the Dutch “tap toe” which literally means “close the tap”.  Back in the centuries the regiment’s corps of drums used to play a signal every night to alert the taverns owners and “remind” them to turn off the taps of their ale kegs so that the soldiers would retire at a decent hour.
However, in the 18th century the term “tattoo” was also used to describe a form of evening entertainment performed by military bands. For more info, click here.

If you have the chance, you should definitely go!

Notting Hill Carnival

It started about 50 years ago and it became bigger and bigger: the Notting Hill Carnival is a huge street festival organised by the Caribbean community in London, and is now one of the most exciting events in town!
If you happen to be in London during the last weekend of August, you’d better not to miss this. With some jerk chicken in one hand and a nice cold beer in the other one, get ready for two days of complete madness and fun!

We all know Notting Hill and its quiet, posh, residential lovely streets, if you have watched the movie you know what I am talking about. Well, forget about that! You will hardly recognize the area: it will be completely transformed in a huge open air disco. I used to live there and I had the best time when they set a huge sound system right in front of my flat. OK, when the floor started trembling for the music it was a bit strange and I was not feeling too safe, but after I got used to that, I just started enjoying the atmosphere…OMG that weekend was epic!!!

I went again this year and it was just how I remembered it: music, big smiles, fun, wild dancers and rivers of alcohol! 🙂

Just to have an idea of how busy and mad it gets, have a look here: