If you think you'll be celebrating Halloween every year, it's nice to buy some decent quality tableware which can be reused over and over again. Lighweight and affordable Melamine plates, bowls and cups are a good option when you have young children.
Ornaments and figurines aren't just the rosy-cheeked, pastel-coloured porcelain statues you see on the Antiques Roadshow. There are plenty of modern decorative items which would suit a dark home perfectly. Nemesis Now has a huge range to choose from.Musée Rodin, Paris, France November 22, 2018
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) is best known for his sculptures including The Thinker and The Kiss. The Musée Rodin at Hôtel Biron in Paris is home to these and many of his works. There is also a must-see version of his fantastic Gates of Hell.Halloween Chocolates (Hotel Chocolat) November 08, 2018
There's more to Halloween confectionery than fun size multipacks marketed for trick-or-treat. Some retailers make the effort to produce sweets that are far too nice to hand out to kids. One of my favourites is Hotel Chocolat.Pumpkin Pie November 06, 2018
Pumpkin Pie is a popular Thanksgiving treat in the USA, and making it is a good way to use the flesh from carved Halloween Jack-o'-lanterns. It's really easy to do, but it can be an incredibly sweet and calorific dessert. We used a basic no-frills recipe.Growing Pumpkins November 06, 2018
Pumpkins are inescapably associated with Halloween, and are therefore spooky and fitting plants for any dark garden. This year is the first time I've tried growing them. I had some success, but I couldn't compete with the huge ones in the shops.Halloween-Themed Food October 31, 2018
Retailers in the UK have started to treat Halloween as a special event, selling more themed products every year. Alongside decorations and costumes there is an ever-growing range of food marketed specifically for Halloween.All Saints' Church, Colchester Zoo October 17, 2018
On a recent family trip to Colchester Zoo we visited All Saints' Church. Unused and ruined for centuries, it now sits inside the zoo's grounds, beyond the Orangutan enclosure. Not much remains but it was an interesting and unexpected find for us.Notre-Dame de Paris, Paris, France September 24, 2018
Notre-Dame de Paris is a world-famous landmark and renowned as an outstanding example of Gothic architecture. The cathedral's ornate stained-glass rose windows are perhaps its best known features, but it is filled with wonderful statues and details.Dark Houseplants September 07, 2018
Houseplants can lift the mood of a room as well as adding decorative interest. If the mood you're aiming for is on the dark side, however, you might want to look for dark houseplants. They can really stand out in a room, especially when they're positioned against lighter-coloured walls.Snapdragon Skulls September 05, 2018
Snapdragons are fun flowers. My Nan used to have some in her garden, and when I was small I would squeeze them to make the 'dragons' open their 'mouths'. I only recently learned their sinister secret (possibly because I used to pick all the flowers before they had a chance to go to seed).Black Magic Sunflowers September 05, 2018
Growing sunflowers is a rite of passage for many young children in the UK, competing with siblings to see whose flower can grow the tallest. My girls are too young to appreciate it this year, but I thought I'd do a test run anyway. Especially when I heard that you can get black sunflowers.