MMER seems to have said its last farewell this week and autumn is definitely in the air.

Even though October is on its way, it still seems to early to be thinking about Halloween.

We hope you enjoy these pictures and recognise yourselves among them.

But this year there is probably a serious message for why Halloween is appearing in this edition so early.

With many shops already gearing up for Christmas we can be excused for pre-empting the event.

If we follow in the wake of retailers, next week will be a Christmas nostalgia, followed immediately after by the first chocolate eggs on sale for Easter.

Although these festivities are starting earlier and earlier, this year retailers could be excused for trying to corner any market going.

It has been a tough two years for many and the announcement of closures has become an almost daily event - and when we have lost huge companies such as Debenhams then we know we are in trouble.

A comedian on TV the other night talked about how, during lockdown, he perfected the skill of wrapping parcels because of the number of online purchases he had returned.

This was observational comedy at its best because the majority of us would relate to that because we have all done it.

And there is the problem.

During lockdown we were confined to our homes and ordering online was the simplest and safest way to get what we needed or, more often than not, merely what we wanted.

And it has become a habit.

Each year there is a national small business day where consumers are encouraged to go an buy from independent stores.

This year the message is even simpler: Go out and buy instead of just online.

But when you do, take the advice of some of the children in these photos and wear masks!

Although no longer mandatory, with autumn and winter will come all the coughs and colds and Covid is still with us.

So shop locally, stay safe and start preparing for the ghosts and ghoulies who will haunt our houses this Halloween.