Happy Bonfire Night!

Today is November 5th, when we celebrate Guy Fawkes’ attempt to blow up parliament, but it is a date with lots of special associations for me :

  • As a young girl I can remember waiting eagerly for it to get dark and for Dad to get home from work so that we could have a firework display in the back garden in Scotland. He had a tin box that he brought the few rockets and Catherine wheels out in and while he let them off one by one, my sister and I busied ourselves with writing our names in the darkness with sparklers! It was always an exciting night in the days before organised displays took over.
  • Then as a teenager, it was less of a family affair, but I would go to the local display with a crowd of friends and enjoy treacle toffee and hot soup around a giant bonfire, squealing at the loud bangs. It was at a friend’s bonfire party that I agreed to go out with my now-husband, when I was 17 and he was 18.
  • In the early years of our marriage we had dogs. with our first dog, Barney, we had waked around our town late at night visiting all of the glowing bonfires which became a tradition we all enjoyed. But latterly bonfire night was about keeping Honey calm, as she was petrified and used to wedge herself behind the toilet to get away from the loud bangs, quivering. As she got older, it was a blessing as her deafness protected her from that anxiety.
  • Baby Joshua had his first seizure on bonfire night : we had wrapped our baby up against the cold and taken him to see the fireworks, but when he got home into the snug, with its roaring coal fire, the change in temperature extremes had developed into his first seizure which was terrifying. Who knew back then how common they were going to become? we thought that it was a one-off
  • As Joshua has become a teenager, bonfire night has once again become a fun occasion as friends host a fun bonfire party/barbeques every year. We will enjoy their hospitality and great food again this weekend, all being well. Often Joshua has stayed indoors with their dog but occasionally he has ventured outside to watch the fireworks, but he enjoys the company, food and fire much more than the firework display to be honest
  • Last year, my husband took Joshua to this bonfire party without me, as I spent much of last November in hospital , with my mum and my sister, at dad’s bedside as he slowly died.This week a year ago was when he was first admitted to A&E and so he has been much in my thoughts x

So this date brings with it both happy and sad memories for me, but it will always be a special date for me..

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