Each year on Halloween, our neighbours hold a big picnic in the park across from our home. Kids and parents dress up, share food and generally run amok. Then the kids split up in groups and call on the houses with decorations. Everyone is out on the street laughing and chatting. Most households were standing at their front gates with bowls of lollies. We just went to the homes around our house. The girls scared our neighbours and they oohed and aahed at their costumes. Everyone happy.
Today is Melbourne Cup day, the day that everyone becomes a punter. The day where Skip's phone starts beeping early as everyone wants tips. What am I doing today? Well, when the race is on we're supposed to be at swimming lessons, but I think we may chuck a sickie. It's the Cup after all.
I read in the Sunday paper, that some employers were telling staff they could only take 3 minutes and 20 seconds away from their desks for the race, anymore then they'd have to take annual leave. What?! To me, thats un-Australian (god, I hate that term). For 151 years, the race has been part of our culture. My mum said they used to have sweeps at school and listen to the race (she went to a Catholic school). If you had to work Cup day it meant a long lunch and a glass of champagne with workmates, sweeps and fun. It was the one day of the years where you could let your hair down a bit. I think it's good for morale.
I think employers should factor it in, a boost for their staff and bit of fun, even if it's just for half an hour. I think its mean-spirited to crack the whip and force them back to their desks.
What do you think? How did you spend Halloween? What are you doing for the Cup?
Is Halloween un-Australian? Is not watching the Cup un-Australian? Is hating the term un-Australian, un-Australian?