Sunday, 8 November 2009

Bonfire Night delight


I admit I've been hesitant to fully embrace the British celebration of Bonfire Night for the following reasons:

1. I don't like standing around watching anti-climatic fireworks while freezing my butt off in in the wind and rain of early November.
2. I don't like fireworks. They either remind me of having a migraine (the lights look like the aura of a migraine) or they trigger post-traumatic shock symptoms from my train accident.I don't hate them, I just don't really enjoy them.
3. I can't drink mulled wine, the drink of choice for the night because it causes migraines. Everyone goes crazy when it comes out ('It smells like Christmas!'), but to me it's the scent of exclusion. I'm loads of fun, clearly.
4. I'm stubborn. Fireworks are supposed to be in July.
5. The basis of the holiday is the foiling of a certain Guy Fawkes' plan to blow up Parliament in 1605. Celebrants gather around bonfires to burn effigies of Guy and watch fireworks, possibly linked to his plan to blow up Parliament? Not sure on that. Either way, it's all a bit odd.

Picture of people either attending Bonfire Night or watching a forest fire.


Despite all of these valid reasons for disliking Bonfire Night, this year I decided to go to watch fireworks in Battersea Park. We were invited by some lovely people and it ended up being a blast.

Our friends Ben and Hannah had made chocolate apples that day to eat while watching the fire display. (They also brought mulled wine, though I didn't make a fuss.) I wasn't too cold and it's wasn't raining. And, after four years in England and just before I leave, I'm starting to appreciate that fireworks can legitimately be displayed in November and that it is somewhat cosy to burn effigies of terrorists to stay warm.


    riy 
Freed from the constraints of big band patriotic tunes to accompany the fireworks, British fireworkers can play any song they want as soundtracks for the evening. I did get almost emotional listening to some of the  power ballads and watching my 'favourite' glitter style fireworks light up the sky. There was also suspense when we all wondered if the fireworks would interfere with the worryingly low-flying aircraft, but fear not, it was fine.

I even had  a moment when I started to get emotional about leaving London, thinking, even though I'm  anxious to leave, in the future I'll be wishing for what I have now. Ahh...that beautiful tension of being content and wanting more...

And some positive light graffiti for the road...









4 comments:

Prince said...

a great trajectory of your feelings for fireworks. i started to hate them too as I read your list and then you painted such a lovely picture of how the night (and then your whole London experience) seemed to go beautifully beyond what you had expected. great post Alisha!

heather b said...

The forest fire comment on your photo caption made me laugh out loud :)

I was unaware of bonfire night! Thanks for teaching me something new today! :)

Nadine said...

Sounds like you had a delightful evening!

As for leaving London, I believe everything in life is always bittersweet. Even though I am thrilled where I am now, I have aspirations to go elsewhere, yet I am petrified that I'll be wishing for what I left behind. It's a never ending cycle.

alisha said...

Nadine, we should swap locations for a while. :)

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