Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Fiery Fun

Autumn Fires

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The gray smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

from A Child's Garden of Verses by
Robert Louis Stevenson

I came upon this sweet little poem a few years ago, and for me it captures the excitement of bonfires and fireworks at this time of year. Although it doesn't mention Bonfire Night, it makes me think of it and reminds me of my childhood excitement at putting on my hat, gloves and scarf and going outside into the crisp night air to watch fireworks at the end of the garden. 

Sometimes my next-door neighbour had a bonfire, and we would watch it over the fence, always surprised at how hot it felt on our faces, even at a distance. I would make glitter pictures on black paper of exploding stars and flowers, and was fascinated by the fireworks' names: Roman Candle, Mount Vesuvius, Traffic Lights, Silver and Golden Rain, Fairy Fountain, Volcano, bangers, rockets and the Catherine Wheel. 

We would always finish off with sparklers held at a safe distance in gloved hands, making shapes with them that seemed to hang in the air. Then we would come indoors at the end of the evening into a warm house, the brightness of which would make our eyes sting.

We've carried on these traditions with our own children, and I usually cook flapjacks or gingerbread to eat while we're outside. We've been to large organised displays and let off fireworks in our back garden too.This year we're not celebrating on November the 5th itself, but as I type I can hear all sorts of bangs and whizzes outside.

If you're celebrating outdoors this week I hope you have a fun, sparkly and safe Bonfire Night!


  1. Lovely photos, memories and poem - it is not one I know, but it so fits the season perfectly :)
    We didn't do anything this year but we did walk up out of the village to watch but were more taken with the moon than the fire works!

    1. It certainly was a clear night - I enjoyed your post about the moon on firework night x

  2. I enjoyed reading about your Bonfire Night celebrations. I've only moved to the UK ten years ago so it's not something I grew up with. But we do enjoy watching the fireworks every year. Maybe when the kids are a bit older we'll take them out to see a real bonfire.
    ...Have a lovely weekend!

    1. It is a magical experience on a cold November night, quite different to summer-time fireworks - a magical combination of heat and cold, light and dark :) x


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