It was a few days late, but last night I went out to a bonfire and fireworks night. It was out by Woodstock – which is in Oxfordshire for most of you reading this who don’t live anywhere near me – in a massive field, and despite the constant drizzle it was a great evening. There was fantastic food, a classic pig roast perfect for a cold night, and plenty of hot drinks on hand to keep us toasty.
They had a huge fire, which I imagine had needed plenty of fuel, and constant fireworks for about an hour, which were brilliant. As much as I love traditional setting off fireworks one by one as we used to, there something truly spectacular about seeing a true fireworks show, with some planning and brilliant bursts of light explosion. I absolutely love fireworks and Bonfire Night in general – the weather’s getting colder, the nights are longer, but still everyone comes out to stand around the fire and watch the show. Even if it’s raining, as it was slightly last night, people were happy to stand outside together, chat and catch up, and appreciate the spectacular fireworks. I think it makes it all the more special that people have made the effort to come out in the dark and the cold, and that they stay for as long as they do.
When I was younger, we used to do bonfire night at my grandparents’ house. They had a massive field at the back of their house, complete with bonfire, so it was perfect for the occasion. My dad and grandad then built an extra shed down there, which was big enough to accommodate plenty of us, so we had somewhere to shelter from the rain if need be. My nan made us all food, usually hot dogs, and warm drinks, and all of our family friends and their children joined us. My dad and grandad always set off the fireworks by themselves, one at a time. I was always worried about them getting hurt, but they were always fine. We all got to choose the next firework which they set off, which is pretty exciting when you’re about 8! There were sparklers, and catherine wheels, which we put on one of the posts to the pony’s paddock, which inevitably caught on fire (it got put out pretty sharpish!). And the bonfire was absolutely huge, so fierce and hot that it hurt to even go near it. I guess what I’m trying to say is that last night really reminded me of the bonfire nights I used to love, and that made me both happy and sad. It was great to relive some of that infectious atmosphere, but I’ve always been sentimental about the past.
A little trip down memory lane there, but it just reinforces for me the importance of celebrating when we can, getting together, keeping in touch and generally having fun an creating memories which we’ll hold on to for many years to come.