Sunday, November 04, 2007


My mood has been a bit dark over the last few days - but was all lit up last night by our local fireworks show up on Blackheath.

I have to admit to somewhat resenting the way that halloween festivities have replaced Guy Fawkes. Not in a bah-humbug sort of way, I enjoy the pumpkins and trick and treating. But it sort of feels as if another marketing opportunity has usurped the place which bonfire night used to have in English culture.

Bonfire night has been commercial for a long while I suppose, because of the fireworks. But collecting the pennies for the guy was not at all merchandise-related when i was little, the guy being constructed from cast-off clothes, home-made mask and old newspaper and string.

Is there anywhere in the UK where pennies are still collected for guys?

Anyway, resentment aside, the fireworks are still great, there is nothing quite like the smell and excitement of sparklers.

Our trip out on Sat. evening was impromptu, a chance to meet up with my sister and BIL. A chance to almost-meet up with another good friend - sorry Molly, too many people to find you, next year?

And I don't know that Guy Fawkes would have approved. Unless the fireworks and fire had been located actually inside the Houses of Parliament. Whilst the house was in session.

But I loved it.

The night was full of stars.


tut-tut said...

Oh, I agree about sparklers; I love the gunpowdery scent and the hissing . . .
Loved the fireworks.

Shelly Lowenkopf said...

In about eighteen months we Yanks will be able to keep the Guy Fawkes tradition alive by implementing a George Bush Day, memorializing his attempt to blow up our Constitution.

ramblingwoman said...

Lovely fireworks - what a spectacle!

martin said...

Come back Guido we need you !.If he did he would not get his barrels of gunpowder past all the cameras. And he would have to pay the congestion charge.....unless he had an Oyster card,but then big barrels on the district line?.

Dizzy said...

Wow, what great photos and video, or should I say DVD. I haven't as yet been to a display of any sort this year, maybe tonight.

Last week I went up North to visit my Dad. Whilst leaving a supermarket a couple of young boys aged about 8 asked for a penny for the guy, but I couldn't see their creation. They said he was on the bench around the corner, when I walked to the bench there was nothing or no one. Little blighters...

As kids we always made a guy, and sometimes with our own clothes. I remember one old lady trying to pull the wellies off one saying you can't possibly burn those.

LG is looking very like her cousins. Nice haircut.

Queenie said...

We have had loads here but I feel mean giving them a penny for all their efforts, so its a little bit more. Yet again great pics, they cheered me up............

Anonymous said...

I've seen 2 'guys' so far! I do remember as a child that everyone would make a guy, or help someone make one. We had a lot more time on our hands though didn't we, with no computers?!

Reya Mellicker said...

Fireworks on Halloween? Crazy! We don't do that in the U.S. LOVE the pics and vid.

It was a very busy Halloween on Capitol Hill. A friend of mine and I dressed up, took all the scary cards out of the tarot deck and told fortunes while passing out candy. I can tell you that grade schoolers do not much want to hear that they'll have a good year in school or that they're smart. They love hearing "Money is coming to you" or "You could be a great dancer."

It was fun. After the throngs passed through, we ate pizza and drank beer. No fireworks, but it was a hoot, as we Americans would say.

Mark said...

Hi Lettuce,
I bet if someone did do penny for the guy it would no doubt offend some one (as that is all we seem to do) and a on the spot fine would be issued,as this solves everything.
I did however see a kid with a guy the other day, it looked so odd as i haven't seen one for years.
I think with so many councils banning bonfires, for various bo**ock's reasons,this is only going to get worse.


Cheers Mark

Akelamalu said...

I have to say I would rather all fireworks were confined to organised displays as I dread the reports of the terrible accidents that have happened with them, but I do love the displays.

I haven't seen any kids collecting a penny for the Guy for years. As the students in my school chuck pennies on the floor rather than put them in their pockets I wouldn't think they'd be interested in anything less than a pound!

Lynette said...

I love your video, but personally I hate fireworks. I cannot venture out at this time of year and get palpitations just hearing them. Never had an accident of any sort just hate the noise. I haven't seen anyone asking for 'penny for the Guy' round here (Ayrshire).

Dumdad said...

Thanks for the firework display - it's something we don't get over here.

I have held a few Guy Fawkes nights in my backyard over the years, lighting up the Parisian sky with rockets and Roman candles.

The kids even made a Guy one year that we burnt. God knows what the neighbours thought.

And sparklers were a definite hit with French friends.

Donna said...

Awwwwww I remember going to Blackheath every year for the fireworks. They were always classy but very crowded. We had a funny little display in our garden which resulted in 3 petrified cats and one very freaked out 2 year old. Daddy was out lighting the fireworks while the kids and I comforted cats and babies indoors, hehehehe!

Hope to see you next week? Can't wait :-)

Gary said...

Sorry that you are feeling down but that's how it goes sometimes. At least that's what my mom says when I get blue - which is usually brought on by exhaustion. It seems you have been busy lately so maybe this goes hand in hand. Take some time for yourself to enjoy the simple pleasures like the fireworks.

Thanks for the video. It has been much too long since I saw a firework display. This past year was cancelled because of high winds and the year before it was rain.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I agree its a shame that Halloween is taking over, it does seem to be all too commercialised. Fireworks are great if they're in an organised show!

Molly said...


The beanster watched the first three and then said, 'Can we start making a move now?' 4 going on 40.

I offered her chocolate too and she said, 'I think I've had enough chocolate for one day.' Not a chip off the old block then!

Sorry I missed you chuck. But thankyou for the pics! Lovely.

Hope you are ok.

lettuce said...

and, TT, writing your name with a sparkler....

ha, funny Shelly. And also, not funny.

it was, RW. Missed you.

you're very funny Martin. Watching Spooks, though, anything is possible

oh Dizzy - little blighters indeed! :o) Hope you are ok. x

Queenie & Jess - excellent news, yes, give them pounds! encourage them to keep the tradition going!

Reya, candy AND fortunes, excellent!

Mark i hope you gave him a penny, or two?

inflation eh, KLulu?!

they do seem to be noisier each year lynette. Our poor guinea pig was slightly traumatised too.

Dumdad we've seen some great fireworks in France on July 14th. Had to wait a long time before it was dark enough though!

ha, Donna! that brings back memories! LG used to hate the noise.

Gary yes, its certainly partly related to tiredness. It does help focussing on the simple pleasures.

CGP - its changed so much in the last 5-10 years. We didn't have many trick or treaters this year tho... maybe it will shift again?

thats so funny Molly! 4 going on 40 indeed. she's such a cutie.