Dad’s Life: Six-foot tiger in Fulwell...

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THREE days back after their half-term break and the boys are already full of woe.

Their pained expressions of tiredness and overwork felt a bit overdone after a week of complete inactivity, but that’s teenage boys for you.

Gabriel, 16, has accepted his return to school with quiet stoicism, the odd sigh the only outward sign of his frustration.

At 13, Isaac is far more vocal at his ‘horror’ at having to return to the classroom.

His failure to revise for a couple of tests may have had something to do with his reluctance. He even tried the ‘I’m not feeling very well’ ruse on Sunday night.

It didn’t go down very well.

I do have a bit of sympathy with them though. When I was at school this half-term was one of the hardest and felt the longest. The fact that it was dark when you went to school and when you returned reinforced the gloom.

Indeed the only chink of light my lads can see is the distant prospect and promise of Christmas.

Oh, and the several Bonfire Night parties they’re attending this weekend.

WE didn’t do ‘trick or treating’ 30 years ago.

We carved a clumsy face into a turnip, stuck a candle into its hollowed-out middle and then wandered the streets for an hour or so, then went in when it got too cold.

That was it, that was our Halloween. And we still loved it.

These days, the shops make a fortune through our new-found love of pumpkins and macabre costumes.

For the most part it’s all a bit of fun.

Gabriel went to a Halloween party and thoroughly enjoyed himself – if you saw a six foot tiger strolling through Fulwell last Saturday night, you weren’t seeing things, that was my boy. Although I’m not sure what the relevance of the tiger was to Halloween.

“It doesn’t matter dad, the most wonderful thing about tigers is I’m the only one,” Gabriel said.

Anyway, the faces on the many young children dresses as ghouls, goblins, witches and skeletons who came to our door on Monday night were a joy to behold.

I do feel, however, that some folk must find the evening quite frightening.

If you’re elderly, live alone, and some burly teenager in a horror mask is on your front step demanding something for nothing, then you could easily feel threatened.

Or am I just being a middle-aged killjoy?

Don’t ask my sons to answer that.