Hallowe’en is a special time when I remember my friend Nyx – Hayley Matthews

Hayley Matthews remembers her late friend Nicola, who loved Hallowe’en, black cats and Ozzy Osbourne.

Saturday, 2nd November 2019, 6:00 am
Dressing up and celebrating with friends is one of the fun things about Hallowe’en. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Dressing up and celebrating with friends is one of the fun things about Hallowe’en. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Hallowe’en is one of my favourite times of year. However, the last two I’ve been busy with little baby Oryn so things haven’t been party central in the Matthews household.

Oryn was actually due on Hallowe’en which makes the date even more special to me than it already is. It’s also quite a difficult day for me as I lost a dear friend Nicola, known to us all as Nyx, a few years ago in a very freak and tragic motorbike accident and Hallowe’en was her day. She absolutely loved Hallowe’en and adored everything about it from dressing up to drinking and celebrating with friends.

She was a strong, beautiful, independent, kind and caring soul but most of all I remember her for her love of Hallowe’en, black cats and animals. Every day would have been Hallowe’en if she’d had her way. She introduced me to The Nightmare Before Christmas, she introduced me to winkle pickers, she introduced me to Guinness with blackcurrant, she introduced me to the Opium Bar in the Grassmarket, and we shared a love of heavy metal and black clothing – not to forget being part of the Ozzy Osbourne appreciation society.

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Most importantly of all though, she introduced me to a world of kindness, caring and non-judgement. A few of us always try to get together on Hallowe’en to remember her but with young children, studies and a very busy life, things are quite difficult to pin down.

Nyx always loved The Black Bull pub when she lived in Edinburgh and the people in there still talk fondly of her and how they miss her. She had been very dear to them whilst she was living in Edinburgh. So how ironic that 31 October marks the ancient festival of Samhain (yup, that’s Hallowe’en to you and I) and apparently it’s when the veils between the physical and spirit worlds become a lot thinner, possibly making it easier to communicate with those departed – and I often wonder if she visits her Scottish friends on Hallowe’en.

I’ve been studying numerology recently and according to the numbers this marks the gateway of The Void – a dark period of intensified energy between 31 October and 31 December, it is considered to be a potent window of transformation. Basically a time for introspection, and releasing old ways, to make way for the rebirth and renewal that comes with the New Year.

I had no idea how spiritual Hallowe’en was, and I have had very strange dreams about my friend Nyx and often wonder if she’s doing OK up there. I’m quite a spiritual person at heart and more often than not, look for a spiritual meaning in things. White feathers stand out to me, I dream things then they happen – yep lots of weird stuff goes on in my flat but that’s a column for another day. I will write about the haunted flat (the old Blackburn Primary school building) that I used to live in and how the departed teacher pestered me from the other side until I ended up moving out! Yes legit true story, but for another time when you’re all less freaked out.

But I am a spiritual person and remember a black cat showing up not long after Nyx passed. She was obsessed with black cats and still to this day, the cat is trying to move in with us. He lives ten doors down but comes to me all the time and I wonder, just wonder, if our little Hallowe’en mascot that is the black cat from No.185 is Nyx from the other side. If it is you Nyx, would you please stop peeing under Harris’s bunk bed!

Top tip for teething troubles

You know you’re on to something when you’re recommended it by a mum, dad or grandparent.

They are always spreading the word to each other on tips, tricks, ideas, finds and old remedies for our ailments. I do love a wee old wives’ take/remedy and for years now I’ve been hearing grannies and mums rave about the wonders of the Ashton & Parsons Infants’ Powders to help babies when they are teething, I think they’ve been about for years!

We’ve had a rough week of it with the old teething and boy does it wreak havoc with sleep, and trust me I will do pretty much anything to make sure that we all get some sleep. So the grannies’ sworn by remedy for teething babies was on my list.

Little Oryn has had a few teeth pop through and also has a bit of a lump on his gum that has really been bothering him for a couple of weeks so I bought a few packets of the powders.

I have however, discovered something that he likes much better, they have a gel! Hallelujah, I nearly jumped for joy when I found it in Boots and it’s also been good for Kenny’s toothache – mind you a trip to the dentist would sort him out but we don’t want to be doing that until things get really bad, obviously.

Anyway, I was so excited about finding the gel that I bought several tubes to share round my mum friends and I’ll trade them for coffee!