If you are recovering from yesterday’s Halloween revels then you have the pagan festival of Samhain to thank. Samhain, which means ‘summer’s end’, predates the Christian All Saints’ Day or Hallowmas – hence Halloween or All Hallows' Eve.
Apparently, Samhain historically marks the first day of winter in the country calendar. At this time shepherds would bring their herds down from the hillsides and give them shelter in stables. (Someone must have forgotten to tend to these sheep which can usually be found at the Lady Lever Art Gallery).
No coincidence then, that following last night’s chilly temperatures I was forced to bring my hamster in from the unheated conservatory and bring him into the cosier kitchen. Of course I was very careful not to put him too near the radiator because small pets don’t like sudden changes in temperature.
Ironically, Dan Hays' Harmony In Green painting (shown above) is described as an attempt to make a hamster cage look like a desriable place to live. Can't say I fancy it myself.