Bonfire Night Plus One

I’ve been quite busy over the past few days, hence the lack of posting. Those of you in England may have guessed why, but those of you who are not may be unaware that we were in the throes of a National Holiday. Every year, on the fifth of November we celebrate the death of some poor bloke who hated his government and was trying to blow up King James.

The day is about the death of Guido Fawkes who banded a group together and plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament, which is where our government hangs out (and the king too in those days). He didn’t have a very pleasant death. They dragged him from the Tower of London to the Old Palace Yard at Westminster (opposite the Houses of Parliament) where his co-conspirators were first put through the traditional methods of killing traitors to the crown.

Fawkes climbed the ladder to the noose with the aid of the hangman and threw himself from the gallows to ensure his neck broke and he died quickly. Nevertheless, his body was still drawn and quartered, as was tradition, and then the pieces were sent to the four corners of the kingdom to serve as a warning to other would-be traitors. James I then ordered the burning of bonfires on the 5th of November the next year to celebrate his escape from the gunpowder plot.

Thus we have the rhyme:

Remember, remember
The fifth of November;
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

So I have been busy perusing bonfires and fantastic firework displays with R. We went to Scarborough on the fifth to see all of the fireworks that were let off along the beach. It’s pretty hard to take photos of fireworks, but I gave it a good shot, as you can see.

We figured that Scarborough would be a good place to go on the actual night as lots of people like to set fireworks off all along the beaches. Even the RNLI were doing a barbecue for the spectators. There were plenty of people with sparklers and an awful lot who were setting off Chinese lanterns, this year. Quite a few of the lanterns, however, weren’t sure that they wanted to go up. We saw some horrific attempts to light and sail some of them. At one point we were watching a red one that tried to land on the crowd. This is one of the problems with going to events that aren’t put on by professional pyrotechnics.

It was also a friend’s twenty-first birthday so we crashed their bonfire and birthday celebrations for a short while. It was lovely to see them as I hadn’t done so in quite a while. So a shout out to Nicola for her birthday!

Of course, not all professional bonfire events are held on the fifth of November. The main one in my town, which is hosted by the local rugby club, was held yesterday. The fireworks were huge and far better than any that we’d seen on the beach. Unfortunately, I was so in awe of them (they really were that brilliant) that I forget to get my camera out and take some photos. Hopefully someone will put some online, though, so that I can share them with you.

In other news, I’m thinking of doing some new pieces of flash fiction shortly so if you have any statements you’d like to see constructed into a piece of flash fiction, then please feel free to comment below. I’m always open to writing suggestions.

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