November 06, 2006

home & garden - a halloween story


Well, now that Halloween is safely over and done with (-cough-) I am finally getting around to posting my thoughts about it...no flies on this hollywoodgal!

Many suburban Los Angelenos have an endearing habit of
marking the passing of time by home and garden
decorations - Hallmark moments, days or weeks as it
were. I suspect American homes have an extra little
room called the deco-room, to fit all the stuff
pertaining to the different 'holidays'. Or maybe it's
a super-sized deco-closet? I must find out....

Over Halloween period, I was fortunate enough to see
post boxes (or mail boxes in American) inhabited by
eery spirits - i.e. cables running unabashedly from
the house, across the front lawn, down the driveway
and into the back of the mail box. As a result, said
mailbox either had flashing red eyes, or blue sparks
flying out of it at random moments, or made squeaky
noises while its flap opened and closed. No kidding -
I saw many variations on this theme in a Beverly Hills
neighbourhood.

In less upmarket areas, the decorations are limited
(NOT!) to an assortment of lit-up pumpkins, giant
spider webs covering whole walls and skeletons hanging
off the front door. Not at all cheesy stuff to have
camping in your garden for about a month BEFORE
Halloween and another month AFTER, until replaced by
Christmas paraphernalia!

This si what we have to look forward to now. Christmas paraphernalia includes reindeer on
rooftops, each one the size of your average front
door. Anything from 2 to 6 of them, plus sleigh and
fat Santa. Add to that flashing shooting stars,
life-size trees and snowmen (!!) and you can just
imagine how much weight is on that roof and how much
electricity it uses to keep it all flashing and
sparkling... plus, you need that extra room I
mentioned, once February rolls along and you decide to
dismantle the faux snow-filled scene to prepare for
Cupid and Valentine's Day.

Happily, though, one decorating occasion follows
rapidly on the heels of another... so that no house or
garden ever has to go naked, should it be shy of
appearing in it's drab ordinariness. After Halloween
and Christmas there's Valentine's Day - but just
before we get to Easter, there's a great Irish holiday
to be exploited: St Patrick's Day.

I work at an ample private residence twice a week. The
first time I made my way to the house, there was a
fat, glittery, green 4-leafed clover on the front
door. It was about 3 weeks before St Paddy's Day. "Aha
- of Irish decent", I thought. I asked the client
about it and she snorted and retorted: " NOOoooooo -
EVERYONE'S Irish on St Patrick's Day! I just like to
decorate for the holidays."

So, I got used to finding my way to the house guided
by the fat, glittery clover on the door. The day it
was replaced with a super-size Easter wreath, I drove
straight past and carried on going. I have to get used
to thinking about the time of year and decorating
season before looking for the front door (or just
memorise the house number - although, with numbers in
the 1000's, that's no easy task).
I am sure there is much resentment about the fact that
no-one has come up with appropriate decoration for
April Fool's Day!

5 comments:

Askinstoo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Homebirth said...

Hooray for Patick's Roadhouse! Did you know it's owned by a South African?

Hollywoodgal said...

Yes, I do know that. Apparently Charlize brunches there frequently too.... but never when I'm there! (Are you SOuth African?)

Homebirth said...

Why yes indeed! This is Diane van der Westhuizen from Drama School Days... and APA...

love,
me

Hollywoodgal said...

Diane! Wow! Would you pls send me your email address to the address listed on my homepage under biography... would love to catch up and hear what you're up to in LA!