November 5th, traditionally a time for celebration in the UK. This day stirs up excited children and deniably excited adults to what can only be said as aerial carnage and choking acrid air. The date refers to a time in history long ago (1600's) when it was okay to be disgruntled with royalty, but the penalty for treason was the loss of your head or some other grusome end. Guy Fawkes Night, Bonfire Night call it what you will, but it's sure to go with a bang!
As for me, it's no fun standing around a bonfire unless I can get almost on top of it. I can't eat, so having traditional fare is out of the question. It's usually wet underfoot and, if recent years are to go by, it will probably be raining as well. These days our family celebration is somewhat down grade. My daughter has grown out of fireworks and standing in a field in rubber wellington boots, well, this does her street cred no good at all and, I must admit, I share her disgruntled view.
Back in my childhood, I would have been looking forward to this night like December 25th. My dad would build a bonfire, buy a box of fireworks and we'd have a mini display in the garden. My mum stayed indoors, fireworks never became her favourite pastime, and I would be running around like a headless chicken with mud up to my eyeballs and jumping up and down with excitement. The rockets would soar into the sky, bang and then fizzle -- not a great display of arial delight and colour, not like the one's of today which are so like the real thing. I saw one last week in a shop that I'm sure you could sit on and ride. The display nowadays is like the millennium all over again.
Tonight is our November 5th. Black peas are on the menu -- parched peas as we know them -- with lashings of vinegar. Baking potatoes wrapped in tin foil and thrown onto the fire as it dies down. Treacle toffee, hot dogs and Parkin, a sticky treacle, oat and ginger cake that you either love or hate -- I loved it! The weather is grim as usual. Will it rain tonight? I suppose it will, it never fails, and the fire will go out like a damp squib and the fireworks will have to wait.
As for me, well! I'll be doing the food no matter what. There's nothing to spoil the fun except we may have to do it all again tomorrow.
Guy Fawkes, you have a lot to answer for mate!