Posted on Nov 19, 2013


There is no night of the year more likely to make parents hate the world and everyone in it than Fireworks night. The baby monitor goes crazy and you’re sat on the edge of the sofa waiting for the telltale snort of a small child. Of course, our kids actually didn’t wake up this year but I think that is totally beside the point.

As we were sitting on the aforementioned sofa, the bangs and hisses seemed to be really quite loud and close. We hurried up to the top of our house and could see that our next door neighbours were setting off rather large fireworks in their garden which was quite exciting, though the joy was somewhat tempered by the business-like nature in which they were lighting fireworks with their headtorches on, standing back, lighting fireworks, standing back. There were only two of them and the event appeared to be heavy on business-like protocol and light on enjoyment of actual fireworks.

We enjoyed them, until I realised some of the fireworks were going in to the massive tree at the end of our garden and I then had to work hard to not become quite anxious about a massive firework/tree blaze. Were the fire service striking? How would they get water to a tree surrounded by houses and a mosque?

Then we realised that this was only the warm-up to the main event, which was a bonfire! Their garden is solely grass, but what lovely grass it is. It’s a perfect green lawn with no hint of a plant or flower. They mow this lawn carefully, regularly and I have seen someone carefully removing individual dandelions from this lawn in their pants. So of course the sacred grass must be protected from the fire and they had thought this through. They placed a wooden pallet on the grass, then placed slabs of stone on top, and then unwrapped a massive metal drum and loudly bemoaned the fact that so many people just throw rubbish away rather than burning it in their gardens. Well, indeed. Having carefully filled the drum, set light to it , deckchairs were brought out in order to recline and admire in comfort. When we went to bed two hours later the bonfire was going strong, and they were still there in the deckchairs, wrapped up warm, living the dream.

The rubbish photo above was meant to be bolstered by joyful pictures from a bonfire the following weekend, but it happened to be on one of those evenings when it was raining and the thought of pushing a wheelchair and monitoring a small child in a bog of mud surrounded by fire wasn’t that appealing. So we stayed at home, watched dancing shows on TV and then I left them all to eat polenta with dearest friends in a perfectly dry environment. And my, what polenta it was.

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