Tonight, like most English parents, I will be pestered by kids who insist on going out at night, in the rainy and cold weather, to watch the fireworks and the celebrations of Guy Fawkes’s death. O joy! Of course, the older ones are in a catholic secondary, it’s a bit ironic to go and applaud the roasting of a catholic failed terrorist. And historically speaking, more and more specialists are having lot of doubts on the version of events promoted by King James the first. But my children don’t care. It’s fun, let’s go. Ok.
First, why on earth did Guy and his little friends insisted on blowing up the parliament in November? If you want to kill the King, why not in July or August? Because fireworks are a lot more enjoyable in summer, really. In November, if it’s not raining, it’s freezing cold. And our borough council insists on a late fireworks display, when they could do it at 5 pm, it’s already dark outside after all. We are just getter better after the cold caught trick-or-treating, and we have to go out again practically in middle of the night. It’s the same every year. The kids are overexcited (because they were impatient, they decided to wait and finish their Halloween sweets, so they are full of sugar). We push them all in the car, let’s go to the town centre, where half the population is already trying to get a parking space. We end up between the orchestra bus and a hot dog vendor. Of course, suddenly, the kids are starving (after they ate a ton of sweets at home) and need a hot dog. Now! So they can decorate their new gloves with ketchup.
Colchester has an amazing park, with a Norman castle, Roman ruins, a lake…it’s great. It really is. In summer, during the day, not a 5th November at night. It’s so big, we have a lower park and an upper park, with a grassy slope in between. A very muddy slop. You have to get on that slope to have the best view. With the kids getting more and more excited, and sticky, with ketchup. You have to decide: get on top of the slope, so you can spend all evening slowly sliding down, losing on the way the children, their winter coats, gloves, scarves, hats…or sitting at the bottom and receiving the people above on the head. If it’s raining (it looks like it this year), you wait longer (do you think it’s easy to light up wet fireworks?), my hair will start to play up, I will look like Chewbacca with a bad eighties perm and I will end up stuck in my neighbour’s umbrella. Permanently. For half an hour you can enjoy the show, while grabbing the kids who are skiing down the muddy slope, comforting the younger who is a bit scared, trying to look for GeekAdo’s hat, in complete darkness (oups, that’s my meigbour’ s nose, sorry!), giving replacement gloves to the girls, apologising profusely to the poor man in front who has ended with PrincesseChipie hot dog on the head (she lost it while admiring a fantastic pink firework).
And when it’s finish, we have to go back, trekking style to the car, carrying the younger ones who have fallen asleep through the muddy crowd. We try not to lose the older ones, well, it’ usually easy to follow me, I have half an umbrella stick in my hair…and when we get home, exhausted, dripping wet, completely frozen, finally, we are greeted by the cat. Who is a terrified of loud noise. So she usually leaves us a little present, on the carpet. Like I said, bonfire night is a joy.