Diary of a Lane Cove Halloween Convert


You’d never know looking at Morticia Addams here that there once was a time I loathed Halloween. It started young – Halloween was frowned upon in the household I grew up in, and with October 31st being my mum’s birthday, the focus was already elsewhere. As a pre-kids adult, I decided that Halloween was tacky and irrelevant and I made sure I was never home when kids came knocking.


Things started to change when our family moved abroad in 2007. We started to attend “go-all-out” parties thrown by our American friends. Party food! Sweets! Dressing up, oh my! I saw the look on my kids’ faces and the Halloween bug started to bite. It wasn’t until we moved to Riverview two years ago that my conversion was complete. We were new in town, and in a single afternoon of neighbourhood-organised trick or treating we managed to meet dozens of families on our street. The fun of it all, combined with the social aspect, finally got me– spook, slime and stinker.

Now we “go large” for Halloween every year with a big backyard party for all our friends and neighbours. We also welcome trick or treaters to our door with an orange balloon on our front gate indicating that we’re “open for business”. When the lollies run out, the balloon comes down. It is however, many hours before the kids “come down” from their sugar highs.

A blue balloon means treats for everyone:

This year we’re adding a blue balloon to our gate too. This indicates that we have some non-food treats for kids who have food allergies or intolerances. If you happen to see our blue balloon, and your child has an allergy or intolerance, knock on our door and ask for a blue balloon treat. If you want to join this initiative it’s as simple as attaching a blue balloon (along with your orange one, if that’s what you do) and having a few inexpensive toys/novelties available.


It’s not my aim to convince anyone to start loving Halloween. As Amy Poehler once rightly said “Good for you, not for me”. But over here in the Bilby house, October 31st means good, clean, sugary, neighbourhood fun, – oh, and a birthday phonecall to Grandma.


RachelRachel Bilby is a Lane Cove local, Kiwi, mum of three, erstwhile blogger, and is studying to become a speech pathologist. She can usually be seen barking at her sticky kids in the plaza or half asleep in the aisles of Woolworths.




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