You wake up. It’s a Saturday, nobody can stop you. Ignoring the pile of paper you call an essay plan, you head immediately to the kitchen and dig out that Halloween chocolate assortment you had been saving for today. You have a KitKat for breakfast, because you’re an adult now and nobody can stop you.
With some sellotape, tissue paper and now a bit of carpet because you dropped the sellotape at a crucial moment, you put the finishing touches to your Sheffield Halloween costume. You hang it on the hook by your door. It’s a little scruffy here and there, but you think people should be able to recognise it as the Arts Tower.
It’s more chocolate for lunch as you get hungry again, this time a bar of caramel, washed down with some of those weird little chocolate balls in pumpkin coloured foil. Speaking of which, you try and find the pumpkin you bought for the group carving session. Fetching it from under your desk, you send a message to everyone suggesting an earlier start to carving, as knives and Halloween drinks don’t mix at all well.
Everybody is assembled in the kitchen, armed with pumpkins, spoons and knives. Someone has a fork because it’s apparently how they do it at home. You all set to work on your pumpkins. Within ten minutes there’s a cry of anguish as the person you all expected to injure themselves injures themselves making the lid for their pumpkin.
With the small cut on their finger patched up, you continue.
Nearly two hours later, you’re finally done, and everyone does their big reveal. There are three basic pointy-mouthed numbers, your poor rendition of Jack Skellington, an irritatingly perfect John’s Van from the most arty flatmate, and one that just looks like a woman.
“Who’s that supposed to be?” You ask.
“Carole Pumpskin.” They reply, fully aware that it looks nothing like her. You all put your pumpkins in the window of your flat, and go for a stroll around Endcliffe to check out everyone else’s decorations, which range from skulls made from post-it notes stuck to the window, to full-on dungeons, complete with cobwebs, ghosts and orange mood lighting.
Equipped with a bowl of Doritos and a fragile Arts Tower costume, you head into the kitchen to see what everyone else came up with. There is a full Sheffield United tracksuit for Chris Wilder, a white t-shirt with vague gold squares drawn on it for the Diamond, and someone has sewn in red and orange stripes onto a blue t-shirt to make a Supertram costume.
The two others are sheepishly sitting in the corner with perfect University of Sheffield student outfits, because they “forgot” that you were doing costumes.
With a buffet fit for a party of 15 or 20 people polished off by a hungry flat of six, you all file into the room with the biggest TV to watch (or hide from) A Nightmare On Elm Street, despite weeks of you campaigning for it to be Hocus Pocus instead.
After being given at least a month’s worth of nightmare fuel, and witnessing enough frightened cuddling to all but confirm your suspicions about the two flatmates you think will become a couple first, nobody really feels like going to bed, so naturally everyone’s attention turns back to the bottles and cans in your fridge.
Your Arts Tower costume lies broken and bruised in the corner, but you don’t care. Halloween in Sheffield was always going to be different this year, for obvious reasons, and while your homemade party wasn’t quite what you would have got from the Foundry or anywhere else in the city, it was good enough. And this year, good enough is hard to come by.
Image Credit: Paul Gorbould (Flickr)