I love Bonfire Night. One of my favourite British traditions. The smell of woodsmoke on the air, the hot soup and hotdogs, the frenzied flapping when a spark from a garden firework falls into your jumper, the quaint silliness of everyone gathering to celebrate something not being blown up by…blowing a lot of things up: it’s all about as November as you can get. Henry loves Bonfire Night too, as it happens, though that’s because of a favourite episode of Sarah & Duck, rather than because he’s ever been to one. (Teddy is on the fence.)
Of course, you take your life in your hands when you spend two hours in a field on a windy November night. Wet n’ wild. We visited the big display at Aston Tirrold on Saturday night, all wearing hats and/or bear suits, carrying chairs, blankets and chocolates, and deliberately making Henry wear the coat with reflective strips. And I still nearly lost him once or twice.
He was thrilled with his torch. We couldn’t keep him away from the bonfire. It was piled high with kiln dried logs, making it burn so bright! He loved the fireworks display, though he agreed to watch the second half only with the proviso that I put my hands over his ears. Timothy carried Teds in the Baby Bjorn, wrapped in more layers than a puff-pastry sausage roll. He wasn’t a huge fan of the firework noise, but then again he’s still too young for Sarah & Duck.
Tonight, on the fifth of November proper, we went outside and lit some sparklers. Having accidentally thrown the first one over the wall, we hit gold with the second. The light comes off in perfect stars; how do they do that? Why is it impossible to burn a sparkler without a) moving it in circles and then b) writing your name? Don’t ask me. It was lovely.