Tuesday, 30 September 2014

October is nearly upon us, and it will be Halloween before we know it, and
then Bonfire Night. We used to love it as children, on Halloween night we always had a large Pumpkin which my mum would skilfully carve into a scary evil monster face, with a candle behind the face.

On Bonfire Night, we would have our friends visit to sit round the bonfire with us. We'd have roasted chestnuts - which were started off in the Aga, and finished off under the bonfire along with bonfire baked (and usually burned) jacket potatoes with loads of butter which we would sit and eat in front of the bonfire with grubby fingers and a sparkler in the other hand. My father would be in charge of the fireworks - which by today's standards were pretty feeble in comparison. To start with there would be the inevitable Roman Candle (or two) and a few whoosh, wow rockets which used to amaze us how they flew so far into the night sky. Then my father would sneakily let off the old Jumping Jacks, these were curled up corkscrew type fireworks, that would jump all over the place (as the name suggests)....they seemed to follow you wherever you ran. Wasn't so keen on those, and then the good old Catherine wheel, which he would nail to a tree, light the end, then we would wait expectantly while it decided to spin....or not! (Often the latter), he usually had a couple of spares, and generally at least one would work. It was a great night, we really looked forward to it.

As I've grown older (and wiser, and more cynical) I now see the damage that fireworks cause, not only to people but animals too. I often wonder if the people who enjoy the displays so much ever give a thought to the animals who don't understand what the noise is about. Horses, sheep and cows in the fields, birds and wildlife and of course dogs (and cats). I think they have now become a nuisance and spread fear to so many animals. The days of the gentle sit round the bonfire with a the odd banger and a few rockets, seems to have gone to extremes; it seems there is a quest now as to who has the loudest, most spectacular show. I'm no longer a fan. Take me back to the old days!