A bonfire night filled with young love and rip-off sweets 

To prevent being fleeced, Kieran will sneak sweets in with his son's pram at next year's firework display
To prevent being fleeced, Kieran will sneak sweets in with his son's pram at next year's firework display

I don't want anyone thinking I just use this column as a platform to moan about the outrageous cost of things, but should a dozen foam bananas really set you back more than £3?  

If I'm being particularly pedantic here, it was three pounds and seven pence for 12 of the yellow sweets on a pic 'n mix stall at HMS Sultan's annual fireworks spectacular.

Now, I appreciate it's a captive audience when you're at an event like that, and these were slightly larger than average foam bananas, but 25 pence per item seemed a little on the excessive side for me.

I felt like I'd been robbed as Kerrie returned with a paper bag containing a pathetically small portion of confectionery. 

I expected the person running the stall to be wearing a black and white striped shirt and mask and carrying a bag over their shoulder with 'swag' written on it. 

I did wonder if the extortionate price was down to faulty scales, or if it was simply because it included refills, but I quickly figured both were probably unlikely.

My neighbours had bigger cause for disgruntlement.

They filled about a fifth of their bag and ended up parting company with 50p short of a tenner.

The things we do for our kids. Anyway, next year we'll definitely be smuggling sweets into the venue.

Louie's backpack will be laden with cola bottles and fried eggs (sweets I mean). 

You do get searched before you go in, but I'm pretty sure they're not looking for people in possession of Haribo and Maoam.

And if they are, then I'm sure we could consider bribing them with a few sherbert flying saucers.

Anyway, aside from the sweets fiasco, the eldest loved every minute of his latest fireworks night.

Despite having ear defenders on throughout the 20-minute display, and possibly hearing very little of it, his review of the show was nothing short of five-star.

Lennie's review may have been similar, if he hadn't slept through the whole thing. I'm still not entirely convinced he's even aware he went to the fireworks.

Our trip there also doubled up as Louie's first official date – with our neighbours' little girl, Enya.

The pair went on the teacups and saucers together, followed by a ride on the swing roundabout. There's no word yet on a second date.

The boy and I also rounded things off with a go on the dodgems.

It was eventually good fun, but not before the guy in charge had to inform me that I needed tokens, rather than coins, to get the thing moving. 

I probably should try reading signs before making myself look a complete idiot. Louie must really despair at times.

Pumpkin pickings fun

Louie's first experience of pumpkin picking has led to a little confusion in his rapidly developing two-year-old mind. 

Unfortunately, as a result of our fun hour out, he now thinks pumpkins are actually called 'pumpkin pickings'.
I've tried to correct him on this several times since our visit to PYO Pumpkins in Titchfield, but he tends to turn a little hysterical.
So, for now at least, they will have to remain 'pumpkin pickings'.
When he's a little older, perhaps next year, we'll make further attempts to finally clear up any lasting uncertainty.
Aside from the issues over the name of the fruit though, our pumpkin picking trip was otherwise a success.
Louie had his first trip in a wheelbarrow as we searched determinedly for a perfectly formed pumpkin in which insects hadn't already drilled unsightly holes.
He also posed, suprisingly willingly, for a photo with a scarecrow. I do now wonder, though, if his willingness was because he believed he was just standing alongside a real, but very still, person.
We returned with two 'oginge' (orange) pumpkins and one grey. 

And, prior to us eventually carving them out, Louie had tremendous fun trialling them as rather heavy footballs, as well as attempting to break our feet with them.