Barring the odd riot, British men only get one, possibly two nights of the year in which we get to make things go bang and start fires. Good old Guy Fawkes. If it hadn't been for him trying to blow up parliament, we'd have had to find another excuse., which would probably mean more riots.
This weekend, I got to go to two bonfire parties, which meant double the destruction. All thanks to having kids. The first was a big affair, with a bonfire, drunken teenagers and lots of ace bonfire night food. Black peas, potato pie, beer. All served up around a blazing fire, which excitingly, might at any moment ignite the surrounding trees and become an inferno.
The fireworks were mostly small garden fireworks, then someone got bored, nipped to the late shop and bought some imported mortars, big, breezeblock sized boxes packed with sequenced charges. There was also a screamer, which does exactly what it says on the packet. My ears are still ringing.
Last night was more of the same, a smaller party, good hot winter food and lots of fireworks. I managed to burn my thumb on a fuse, just badly enough to scare the kids into not approaching fireworks, ever.
Letting fireworks off is ace, dangerous and generally the most fun you can have whilst getting your fingers burnt. Your kids look on you with total awe and appreciation, at least until they're about 13 anyway, and you get to play with fire and things that spit flame and go bang. Having a bonfire is the icing on the cake, as you also get to burn stuff, poke burning things with a stick, smell of burnt stuff for about a week after and spend a few days coughing due to smoke inhalation. Perhaps it's a man thing, my wife and daughter stayed indoors for most of it, while me and my son jumped up and down like idiots, cheering after every big bang. All because a bloke couldn't blow something up 500 years ago. It's kind of rubbing his nose in it a bit, after all this time.
Anyway, boom! I can't wait for New Year's Eve.