The 5th of November, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.
I do like a good firework display and for me I’ll always associate Guy Fawkes Night with going up to Granny & Granda Duncan’s house in Kepplehills. When I was young (I know I sound ancient when I say that) every area around the city had its own bonfire and fireworks display rather than one big one down at the beach. In Bucksburn ours was held just up the road from my grandparent’s house so we would go there first to light our sparklers and dance around waving them manically trying to make shapes. For some reason we also liked to plant them in the garden and light them as if the flowers had come to life.
I really think we miss out on the sense of community that we had when there were local events like that – you don’t really get them in the same way anymore apart from a one-off summer gala at the local school. Our Bonfire night was always really busy and you made your way up the fields in your willies and winter woollies to the bonfire which let off the most almighty heat. The other thing, looking back on the experience, was that instead of all the electronic and choreographed displays tat we get these days it was a slow and steady affair. Sets were let off by a small gang of men dressed in black running along behind the bonfire lighting each set of fireworks and rockets for us to “ooh” and “aah” to. These days kids would be bored but we loved it. It might have taken about half an hour to let off the amount of fireworks you now get in two minutes but it was still brilliant and we all loved it. Also you got to see your school mates which was good too.
One memory that sticks in my head about fireworks was the time that me and Jill bought a wee selection box not long after we started going out. Her folks were away and we set up the rockets and nailed the Catherine wheel to the back gate. Well the rockets got stuck in the tree branches and thankfully stayed there rather than come back down and the Catherine wheel got stuck and burnt the gate quite badly which we then had to sand and repaint before they got back – to our relief they never noticed it had happened.
Obviously the most impressive display of fireworks I’ve ever seen was in Epcot at Disney. I’d never seen fireworks explode at precise moments in the music before and I remember standing there open-mouthed as thousands upon thousands of multi-coloured explosions danced in the sky. The Magic Kingdom was good but it was almost about quantity rather than a show – Epcot’s display was amazingly beautiful and did things with the format I’d never seen anywhere else before. Now with the electronic charges it has become much easier to manufacture a show out of explosives but for me that night was fantastic.
So now I’m off to my mum and dad’s with a couple of packs of sparklers and a wee box of fireworks so we can carry on the tradition with Jake and Jenna waving the sparklers around in Granny’s Garden.