Halloween 2017 kicked Halloween 2016 right in the candy corn.
First up, Matt’s company party, Night of the Living Devs — get it? Like game developers? No? That’s okay, I appreciated the punning, as I always do.
We had a costume idea, and then Matt came home and was like, “No, the theme is pirates and zombies,” and I was like, “I’m tapped out, we’re wearing our Pittsburgh Pirate baseball hats (see? I can pun, too) and calling it a day.” I expected for it either to be lost on the group of primarily non-Americans or to receive many groans at the bad puns/cop-out costumes but I was wrong on both counts. More people than we expected got it, and most thought it was clever. Guess the UK hasn’t had its fill of ironic, punny costumes, yet. Good thing we’re here to saturate the market!
The party was at the Tropicana, an island-themed club with a dropped swimming-pool-like structure for a dance floor.
I’m at the Bromley Beer Festival, in line for the port-a-potty, when a pack of cigarettes bounces out of the back pocket of the woman in line ahead of me and falls to the ground.
She doesn’t notice, so I tap her on the shoulder.
Me: “Excuse me, you dropped your–”
And this is the moment my brain remembers that cigarettes aren’t always called “cigarettes,” in the UK, only I can’t quite come up with the right word, and then I remember that they’re called “fags” but now I cannot bring myself to say “fags,” so I’m just standing there, frozen, while the woman stares at me in confusion and possibly with a bit of concern for my mental health.
Me: “your… (I gesture vaguely at the ground) …things.”
London snow is unusual. The city is 3-4 degrees warmer than the most of the rest of the UK and we just don’t see flakes very often.
But on Thursday, it snowed, a pretty good showing – almost complete ground coverage with fat flakes still falling when Matt got home from work.
Our usual evening routine is Matt and Dex play while I make/finish dinner, then we eat, then bed. That train doesn’t derail very often, but still, when Matt said, “You wanna put on coats and boots and go outside and show him the snow?” I only had to think a second before saying yes.
Who knew how long it would last, or when we’d see it again?
Last year, Dexter met Santa for the first time at the EA holiday party held at Matt’s office. He was much more interested in removing his socks than getting to know Claus, and his face was that knowing, “I’m just doing this to make my parents happy” smirk that he continues to perfect.
This year, as his is nature, things got more judgmental.
London BROUGHT IT for Halloween.
Gorgeous weather, cool and sunny, perfect for trick or treating. I tried to find a low-key toddler-aimed activity for Dexter but didn’t really have any luck, so I hatched what I thought was a perfect plan for a perfect day: We’d put him in his costume and camp out in our driveway, greeting trick-or-treaters so we wouldn’t have to run up and down the stairs every time the doorbell rang. Maybe, if Dex saw the other kids and it looked like houses on our street were participating, we’d take him to ring a few doorbells himself.
Turns out, toddlers don’t give a damn about perfect plans.
As part of our relocation deal, Matt’s new game studio placed us in the Bromley Court Hotel, perched on Bromley Hill, for two weeks while we find a more permanent home. When we snooped the place online, we thought it looked great – pretty and relaxing. We were right. They nailed it.
The interior of the hotel is this interesting mix of homey and grand. I mentioned previously, the restaurant is really great. We splurged for a single dinner here and it is probably my favorite UK meal so far.
I complained a lot about our time in the hotel and should be clear – it has nothing to do with the hotel itself, and everything to do with the inevitable misery of two adults and a baby having to share a small room for two weeks.
Here’s a peek at some of the interior: