Cripes, crikey, golly gosh — did I hear that correctly.

A quick calculation and yes I did hear correctly — yesterday it was eight weeks until Christmas. How did that happen?

About 20 minutes late I heard someone else say "why are people so grumpy at the moment?".

We put two and two together and decided that people were grumpy because Christmas was coming at them at 100 miles an hour.

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Even if you love Christmas — and I do — the thought that it's only eight weeks away just has my head spinning.

If you could see that state of my house at the moment you would know why.

What started out on Christmas Day two years ago as a suggestion about what we could do to the kitchen has morphed into full-scale renovations and anyone that has had or done renovation will feel my pain.

After nearly three weeks without a stove and a washing machine I am not a happy camper. Mr Neat is turning grey. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I won't bore you with the details.

I did learn something though — you can boil eggs in your crockpot with your corn beef and they don't taint.

Anyway back to Christmas. Already the shops are filled with Christmas decorations — if you are smart you would have bought them on Boxing Day. I didn't, not because I not smart but because I would rather sit on a cactus than join the throngs of shoppers on Boxing Day.

However, before we get to Christmas there are a couple of things first. Today is Halloween and while I have never dressed up and gone from door to door with a basket hoping for candy, more and more people are doing just that.

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That's fine it's their choice and I'm not bothered about it at all — each to their own. I always have some goodies in case we get any callers.

There are not many children in our area and for the last two years there have been no callers.

The following week it's Guy Fawkes.

This one I love and I have so many memories of Guy Fawkes Day as a child at my aunt and uncles, bonfire blazing, kids running everywhere.

It was fun — even when the boy cousins would throw Tom Thumbs at the girl cousins' feet.

We would all scream and run and tell our parents who promptly told us not to tell tales and off we went.

When my children were growing up we had fireworks every year in the back yard. Most of the time we had friends over, other times it was just us.

It was fun and we were always careful. No one complained about the noise.

I do understand that now we live much closer to our neighbours and to lifestyle blocks with horses and other animals. If I lived next door to a paddocks with horses I would go somewhere else to let off my fireworks.

And that is really the key — consideration. If you live near animals that will spook organise somewhere else to go.

If you are going to let off fireworks tell your neighbours so if they do have animals they can take them inside.

If everyone was considerate and careful then there would be no calls to ban fireworks. It would be a shame if the choice was taken from us.

Linda Hall is assistant editor of Hawke's Bay Today.