Thursday, 5 November 2009

Remember to be thankful for remembering!

Well, it is the 5th November! Here in the UK it is still celebrated with fireworks, bonfires, sparklers, rockets, Catherine wheels, sausages, candy floss, coconut ice, hot potatoes, roast chestnuts, lanterns... to name some of the traditions...
For me though, it is not the political remembering of the 5th of November that conjours up so many memories, but more that I can remember my childhood home. A place where i loved growing up for so many reasons.
It was a special place because it was reputed to be the house where The Conspirators met to plan the blowing up of Parliament in 1605. The house was then a coaching inn, on the main highway to London. The legend is, that the Conspirators stayed at the inn on the night of the Gunpowder Plot, awaiting news of their plot. However, history tells us that they got news that Guy Fawkes had been caught red-handed and so they all scattered and were later all caught and tortured. Guy Fawkes was hung, drawn and quartered for carrying out his scheme. By the 20th century, the old coaching inn was a rambling old house, where we as a family lived. The only evidence of the past history was that the house was named after Guy, had a plaque telling of the story and often we would have people come to re-tell the story, as well as visitors wanting to hear a tale or two! The most memorable stories would be these: A young boy walking into the kitchen and meeting my Grandad, for the first time and asking him " are you Guy Fawkes?" Then there was the time the local TV station came to do a film about the story of Bonfire Night. My Dad was so cross that it took them all day to film and in his opinion was a pretty poor show, and the props department came with a black sphere labelled "bomb" and to his utter dismay, they used coconut shells to mimic the sound of horses hooves, followed by the presenter being shadowed in a cloud of smoke with a big bang. The big bang was the bit that most dismayed my Dad! It left behind a rather large dark patch on his green grass lawn. Oh dear. as a keen gardener, this was almost un-forgivable! He was not happy, but we all couldn't help laughing as we watched it on the telly! The story that went down in our family history was of my parents hosting a big bonfire party for all the local children and families. Dad dressed up as a "guy", and hid in the bonfire on step ladders, waiting to leap out from the fire as it was lit! The ladder collapsed, but he did get out completely un-harmed. It was one of those, I can't believe my parents did that stories! For Mum and Dad, the ultimate pranksters, my Dad, the slightly mad professor, it was just one of those things they did....However, this should not ever be attempted, of course!
Most years, we would light a few rockets in milk bottles, lined up on the wall and watch them light the sky or go to the larger and more organised bonfire night celebrations with the more spectacular fireworks to go ooh ahh to!
So, whatever you do this Bonfire night, Fireworks night,be safe and I leave you with the famous poem:
Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

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