Two October events

Preparing for Halloween may strike you as an important chore in the month of October, but here in Daglan, well — not so much. The Halloween bug hasn’t bitten our villagers as it has in other parts of the world, including our former city of Toronto. There, decorating the fronts of houses for Halloween with ghosts, witches, coffins, spider webs and more has become virtually a competition.

Still, there are a few villagers here who have been making an effort to get ready by adding some scary bits of decoration to their homes. Here, for instance, is the front gate of a small group of apartments on Daglan’s main street:

Are you feeling sufficiently scared?

Here at our house, we’re not planning any decorations for the trick-or-treating evening, other than a carved pumpkin for the front steps. We already have the pumpkin (a gift from a neighbour, who grew it in his garden) and I’ll carve it on Sunday. (If you carve them too early, I’ve found, they have a tendency to get soft.) Jan has also bought three bags of good — and I mean good — candies: Miniature chocolate bars, rather than those awful hard candies. I figure if kids are going to brave the elements on Halloween, and spend some effort putting on costumes, they deserve the best.

Another event this month is actually a month-long campaign, intended to raise awareness of breast cancer. In France, it’s known as Octobre Rose, or Pink October.

To get behind the event, our Mayor oversees the addition of special pink decorations throughout the village. Some of them are pink ribbons; others are pink butterflies. Here’s a look at a couple:

A pink butterfly on a drainpipe at the Mayor’s office.

And here’s a ribbon, attached to the side of a house on the main street of our village:

Pink ribbons like this are mixed in with the pink butterflies for Octobre Rose.

I see this as another case of Daglan going that little bit further to support good causes (including, of course, the good cause of having a clean, attractive and well-managed village).

Unfortunately, when the Mayor called for volunteers to put up the decorations, a few weeks ago, there were only five people who showed up. Two of them were the Mayor and his wife, and one of them was a village councillor. The other two were both ex-patriates — my wife, Jan, and a friend of ours, who lives in Germany but has a holiday home here. A bit of a disappointment, I’d say, that no French residents stepped up. (And to answer the obvious question: Of course I would have been happy to volunteer along with Jan, but my mobility problems mean I can’t be scooting around and climbing up ladders.)

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