As we pull onto the dirt track of Cattows' Farm, weaving around departing cars driving straight at us, there is a palpable sense of excitement hanging in the fresh autumnal air. Perhaps it's the adrenaline of impending death (these exiting cars are taking no prisoners); the caffeinated and highly sugared Starbucks drinks we have just consumed; or the sight of multiple bouncy castles punctuating the horizon ahead of us, keeping many of the small persons present happy, hyped, and high - quite literally. The excitement (for me, anyway) is all down to the prospect of entering a field littered with hundreds of orange footballs.
There are few moments in life when one experiences this surreal connection between simplicity and high joy, evoking that kind of overwhelming, gargantuan, child-like wonder, but this is one of them. The surprise and delight of the sheer oddity of perceiving pumpkins in this setting is like opening a door to a room full of puppies waiting patiently (unusual from the start), looking at up you with all their doe-eyed, imploring, affectionate gaze and fluffiness, in hope you might choose them to take home with you. Puppies are not pumpkins. Pumpkins are not puppies. Pumpkins are pumpkins. Yet, choosing the 'right' pumpkin makes me feel bad for all of the ones that get 'left behind'. The excitement of choosing your pumpkin is immediately followed by bitter-sweet regret for the others that didn't make the cut. ("I'll buy them ALL!" And if you did, it would be a bargain, I'm telling you!) Walking to the tills is a reminder of this - we pass multiple pumpkins haphazardly discarded here, there, and everywhere; indiscriminately placed, like little orange mole-hills disrupting the otherwise flat and green walkways. I even picked one up for a few minutes before, painfully, I had to let it go - twice rejected. Ouch. I'm unsure what I wanted to write about this evening, but I hadn't quite expected that it would take a turn towards to the 'lost pumpkins' of Cattows' Farm. May that be a lesson to us all. Pumpkins aren't for Christmas.