Thursday 4 November 2010

November the Fifth.

Remember remember the Fifth of November.
I've always loved the sight of fireworks, sparklers, bonfires and immolating Guys.

The taste of baked tatties, roasted chestnuts and mulled wine. And the odd can of Export.

The smell of gunpowder in the evening.

Then there's the preparation, days of scavenging anything that will burn.(How many future antiques have been lost?)

Stuffing auld claes with newspaper and pinning them together, a papier machie'd balloon for a head.(Then adding a Thatcher mask, or pinning on a red rosette)

Nailing the St Catherine wheels to the fence posts, lining up bottles for the rockets and getting the carry out. Braw.

Yet there is a down side.
Days before hand, pets-and their owners, lives are made a misery. Of my dogs, one hates the noise and runs underneath beds or onto laps, two ignore it and the other wants to go out and attack it.

The size of the rockets. The rocket that was shot through the doors of a library a few years ago, was of the same type that I used to buy with my pocket money; a four inch cardboard tube on a stick.

It glanced off some some shelving and a wall then fizzled out.

What if it had been one of the monsters available today? Seven ounces of gunpowder encased in something that that looks like the Taleban use, would have made a mess of anyone that stopped it.

Like this cat.


  1. Here I was, just trotting off to bed and I thought 'I'll just read Conan's post'.

    So it's nightmares tonight - as ever. :(

  2. Conan,

    Thanks for that mixture of nostalgia and reality. My dogs wander round the garden wondering, having read the dossier, if they've got 45 minutes left on this earthly coil.

  3. Sorry if I gave you nightmares Rosa, but I did mean to shock.
    Not far from where I live, on the Turnhouse flightpath, a cretin was charged and gaoled for letting off rockets into several aircraft's flightpaths.
    I do think that anyone who wishes to use fireworks should have a licence, similar to a shotgun certificate.
    Some libertarian me, eh?

  4. In Edenbridge they are burning an effigy of the fragrant Wayne Rooney. Guess where they are putting the rockets.

  5. Yes Conan. You make good points. In the hands of responsible people fireworks are great fun. In the hands of drunks they can be a nightmare for kids, old people, animals and the fire brigade.

    It's sad that something that was fun has become such a problem... and for weeks before and after the actual night.

    Still, when Christmas beings in September...