Thursday, 16 October 2008

It's that time of year again...

There's a chill in the air this time of year that always reminds me of fireworks. I must admit to enjoying Bonfire Night. I know how dangerous it can be but I don't think that means you shouldn't let off fireworks, it just means you should do it with extreme care. I know pets hate it: we've got three cats, and we do our best to make sure they're all indoors. Sometimes I get round to buying my own – my thoughts are turning to this as I write. Sometimes I don't get round to it, so we just go out to a display instead. And you don't have to actually go to a display: some of my favourite memories of Bonfire Nights past are of driving out into the hills and watching fireworks going off in the valleys. If you're lucky, the rockets explode at about the same height as the hill-tops and huge dandelion clocks of light explode and fill the windscreen. The trouble with this approach is that you miss out on the toffee apples and the sparklers.

One year, when I was little, my dad went to a lot of trouble to make a guy. As I remember it, he sat it in an outhouse for days before the big event and I grew quite fond of it. I was very upset when it came to burning him. I have a funny feeling that we didn't and the guy sat and watched. I don't like the idea -I don't suppose many people do these days- of associating the “guy” with Guido Fawkes. On the other hand, I'm a great fan of making scarecrows (see a previous post, here) and I like the idea of a cathartic ritual repeated year after year (I don't think we get enough of that kind of thing in the UK). Either way, this is a hypothetical line of thought at this end, as we just don't have the space for a decent bonfire.

So, I think I'll be keeping my eye out for a box of fireworks, and a bag full of rockets. Rockets, if you ask me, are the best bit.


Finally, totally off the point:

Gardening Poem

Making compost takes
longer than writing tanka.
Gardeners who are
impatient should consider
writing poetry instead.


The Weaver of Grass said...

We never did burn that Guy - he sat in the chair in the kitchen for a day or two until he gave me a fright every morning when I came downstairs! Have noted the gardening poem and am making no comment!

Rachel Fox said...

I love fireworks in the sky...fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Neat poem - funny and wise.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thank you for the comments, people.

Wise? Nice of you to say so. I am, or rather was, until I saw the error of my ways, an armchair veg gardener. I was inspired by books by the likes of Laurence D Hills to build compost heaps and double dig bits of the garden. I then discovered I was more interested in trying to make compost, shovelling muck and double digging than in actually growing anything (apart from rosebay willowherb, thistles, etc). Once I'd prepared the ground, I lost interest. Others pointed out to me that all I actually did was make a mess in the garden. It gradually dawned on me that they were right, and I turned my attention to other things.

It never occured to me before, but perhaps that guy that watched the fireworks and sat in the kitchen has something to do with my interest in scarecrow making.