Apparently it's autumn. Gone are the patriotic red, white and blue themes in the shops. Gone are the end-of-aisle displays for s'mores ingredients. No more cheap punnets of raspberries.
Instead, the shops are kitted out with garlands of bright orange leaves and pumpkins, and are all about apple cider, and flavoured cafe lattes with names such as pumpkin spiced and cinnamon gingerbread. Halloween decorations are beginning to breed, and mornings out and about will see people wearing their uggs with pride.
I have no doubt that elsewhere in America, trees are actually turning orange, and the days are much cooler now... but LA is yet to receive that memo. Here - it's still green. It's still very warm during the day. Today, half of my clan went for a swim. Summer? Not gone yet, people.
Last year was my very first proper Halloween. I was a little eager, and carved out several jack o'lanterns one week before the big day. They were pretty damn fantastic looking, if I may say so, especially for a first timer. A couple of days later, the mercury hit 30ºC, and my beautiful jack o'lanterns - still kept inside, not outside - began to curl in on themselves, slowly imploding. White furry mould began to grow inside and regretfully, I threw them away and started again.
This year, I won't make the same mistake. In fact, with such a fearless, ahem, 'adventure-seeking' toddler around, I may pass on the carved pumpkins altogether. I'm pretty sure they'd only end up being moved around, sat on, licked, squashed, and whatever else Miss Pie thinks would be fun.
In the mean time, I need to sort out Halloween outfits for the girls. Martha Stewart I ain't, so they're going to be a mix of what we already have lying around, and store-bought. I love the small kiddy costumes in the shops, and I love the idea of adding to a growing dress-up box. It even makes me just a little green with envy. I'd have loved to have had an assortment of costumes when I was a kid... but I'm happy to live vicariously through the Faery and Miss Pie. That's what kids are for, right?