Monday, November 06, 2006

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November...

Well it being Guy Fawkes this weekend, we were as usual terribly unpc and held a fireworks party. Actually, pretty much everyone our way holds them. And there are usually several impromptu affairs on the allotments too (funnily enough a bonfire night party scene seems to have wormed its way into my book...) So I am very sorry for all the pets around and about, because it is a tad noisy.

In our defence we don't go on that late, but er, we do have a lot of big bangs.

This is Spouse's fault. He is at heart a pyromaniac. So Saturday afternoon, not unnaturally was spent building the biggest fuck off bonfire you've ever seen. And one of our mates arrived with a scarily lifelike guy. He had apparently made it for/with the children, but I suspect he'd have done it anyway. There is something about the 5 November that seems to bring out the inner child in men. Another friend arrived with two of the biggest rockets you've ever seen. His wife raised her eyebrows to heaven as she described the excitement engendered by the purchase of said items. And all for something that disappears in a puff of smoke, in oooh... seconds.

Me being Scaredy Cat Wuss Mum (see the MadMuthas blog for a truly frightening depiction of what kind of parent you are!), means that I hate bonfire night. Mainly because our garden is very big and dark and I have palpitations about all those sprogs running around. The only rule I give to guests is, your offspring are entirely your responsibility, I am not going to even THINK about taking them on...

So on bonfire night you'll always find me in the kitchen at parties, which also has the added bonus of keeping my feet warm (ice blocks for feet are another reason for detesting Guy Fawkes Night).

Though being a tad paranoid about Elf and Safety, I still wouldn't go as far as having a virtual bonfire as one local authority allegedly did this year. Is it me, or has the world gone mad? Though I do confess, Terry Wogan's virtual firework display on the radio on Friday morning (totally safe for pets and children) was pure glorious radio genius. I've been trying to resist it, but I'm definitely turning into a Tog...

As it happens, the kids tend to lose interest in the fireworks before the dads do, so this year Spouse did us all a favour and called it a wrap after about forty minutes (still sufficient time to beat the neighbours hands down, with whom we have indulged in friendly firework rivalry ever since New Year's Eve at the Millenium).

So then it was onto the serious stuff - adults drinking and kids running amok in the dark, while our pyromaniac builder mate helpfully burnt up all the remaining rubbish he could find.

We eventually retreated indoors around 10pm, when the children left standing retired to watch Dr Who, and the grown ups indulged in grown up conversation, which by now was mostly of the unintelligible kind.

The last guests left around 11.30pm, when I carried no 4 to bed (she had crashed out on no 2), and no 3 walked upstairs wailing, Daddy says it's four hours past my bedtime... and some. Nos 1&2 took some persuading to get to bed, but eventually it was lights out all round - Spouse by now having gone into that other realm he tends to inhabit on these occasions, when a good night's sleep is definitely called for.

At 2am I was awoken by the sound of thudding feet and screaming. What the hell? I leapt out of bed, but the thudding feet had already made it past our bedroom and down the stairs. The yelling by now was at high pitch. I followed it to the back door, where I found no 4 rattling the door knob and screaming, Where are the others? I want to go out and play.

None of my children have ever slept walked before, but it don't get much more dramatic then that...

Needless to say she didn't remember a thing in the morning, and kept me awake most of the night elbowing my back. So Sunday was a bit of a washout, and everyone flaked out rather pathetically on the sofa.

And we still haven't done the videoing for the Dr Who competition...

4 comments:

Nic said...

I thought the beige one on Friday was particularly nice...

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

I am so jealous! I have such great memories of the fireworks parties my mum and dad hosted in the late 1970s. Sometime in the 1980s domestic fireworks parties were banned by pretty much every level of government in Australia and I MISS it!

There are still lots of 'official' New Year's Eve fireworks - including the spectacular Sydny Harbour ones - but it's not th esame as seeing someone's dad take a short stick to a stuck Catherine Wheel!!

thanks for bringing back so much fun!

Maalie said...

Nice story! I went out for a walk around my local village in Cumbria for half an hour, the smell of that gunpowder smoke (or whatever it is that comes out of fireworks) still transports me back to my childhood!

Jane Henry said...

Nic - it was the way Terry kept saying keep away from the radio one's about to go off that cracked me up. Quite madly brilliant!

Bec and Maalie, glad you enjoyed the account of our night. We do it every year pretty much, and this is the first time not one of ours has cried. Mind you, given the fact that fireworks are now noisier then ever and people are constantly complaining about them, I suspect Elf and Safety will swoop in soon and ban people from holding firework parties at home. Gosh, didn't this used to be a FREE country????