I love bonfire night. Apart from in the rain of course. I love the smell, sight and noise of bonfires and fireworks. I love the noises people involuntarily make when the fireworks are impressive. And I love the look on children’s faces as they look on in awe.

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t like it. In the garden while my Dad wrestled with a tin box in the dark on my brother’s birthday. Writing our names in the air with sparklers and wishing my name was shorter. Big displays at Baytree Nurseries while wearing a snood. Gingerbread men and home made treacle toffee – the bigger the bits that stuck together the better. The year when the traffic was so terrible we got to the venue just as the fireworks finished wasn’t such a good year, but that’s the only negative night I remember. And we just ate treacle toffee in the back seat of the car instead.
And now? I’ve found it a bit harder with the girls. Both have been freaked out by the pitch black of the garden and the bangs and screams of fireworks when they were very little. But tonight it seems back to being wonderful, albeit in a slightly different way. Paul walked up to Chelsea Park with his big girl all wrapped up and excited. They both loved the display and the bonfire and Paul loved having quality time with just her. He even got to wear his hiking boots again which is a plus.
I stayed home because Phoebe really hates the bangs. She was bathed and dressed in her snuggle suit before reading stories. Then we’ve looked out of every window of the house to see which is best for firework viewing. She still had her hands over her ears at points but she loved the colours and I loved seeing her face and not having to deal with a tantrum in a field and the possibility of losing one or both children.
Who knows about next year. Maybe they’ll be old enough to both go out and I will work out how to make treacle toffee. Or maybe not. But if it’s another alternative bonfire night like this one I’ll be just as chuffed.

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