Was working on the children’s Halloween party and I told Alpha as a joke, “if I ever get fired, I could always get a job designing S&M chambers.”

I was decorating our cellar for Beta’s Halloween party. Beta is our oldest daughter. She’s now 13.

“What’s an S&M chamber?” asked Beta, with a look on her face saying that she already knew. This Internet generation.

The walls and floor are covered in black plastic, and spiderwebs and black plastic streamers hang from the ceiling, and a red bulb has replaced the white one in the ceiling lamp ready for the Halloween Party. So the room, which will be the Halloween disco, now resembles a really dirty darkroom.

The girls will dance there. They will also drink fake blood out of a cauldron with long straws, and dig for treasure in a cemetery I built on our terrace behind the house, and which has our neighbors concerned.

Alpha is worried that the crosses I made are blasphemy. I am mentally preparing myself to argue with the village priest if he comes to our house and gives me the business.

Bats and spiders galore adorn our walls and ceilings. It’s totally creepy and pitch dark, I even get scared in there. We were all pawing through a box of decorations, looking for more to hang up. Black and orange crepe paper streamers. Spider webs. Witches, black cats and ghosts. Jointed paper skeletons. Very Halloween…

Gamma digs deeper and deeper and finally gives up. “Where are the butterflies?” she asks. :-)