Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Fireworks

Firework parties have always been a bit of an interesting phenomenon in our house. My son's name, being the same as one of the better known terrorists who plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament was, in primary school especially, often mentioned at this time of the year. When he was seven, having just moved back from Northern Ireland, where they don't celebrate the fact that we saved the monarch, but rather instead revere the dead spirits of All Hallows, it was a bit of a shock to all when he ran in one day after school, petrified because he thought that he was going to be put on a bonfire and burnt!

Needless to say, we got over the problem reasonably quickly by the promise of fireworks, toffee and funfairs. Thereafter, every year became less of a torment to him and a source of glee as the public displays got grander. Then a few years back some of hubby's government employee colleagues with slight pyromaniacal tendencies and a link to a good source of cheap fireworks asked if they might use our garden to practise their firehandling techniques. This seemed like a great idea, and so each year since we provided a garden, they provided the fire based entertainment and we put on some food. The guest list got bigger, the fireworks got grander and the food table got more impressive, until this year. With the advent of our new puppy, we decided that fireworks in the garden were perhaps not such a good idea, and so we decided to go back to the public displays. Until that is we were invited to another friend's party.

I was really pleased. I could enjoy the benefit of a fireworks party at home, without having to do the work. So we got there with three princesses in tow (prettier and more colourful than demons and witches they said) and our son. Eldest daughter stayed behind to get uninterrupted Bebo time, and time away from arch rival and enemy, the brother.

The food was great. The wine flowed. The company was good. The puddings were fantastic. The host and hostess even had a refreshingly healthy attitude to their dogs, something that we have been finding little of since we have had a dog. It's unbelievable how many people want to tell you how to bring up your dog as well as your children. These dogs however were treated as members of the family which was good to see.

Then the fireworks started..........

Our host, an ex member of the bomb squad and self confessed to be suffering from withdrawal symptoms since leaving promised an excellent display.

And so it was...........

After the first quarter of an hour we had frozen sufficiently in the near icy temperatures that have just hit us, to last us for the next year, but we had had a good display so we were more than happy.

After the first half an hour everything was starting to go numb.

Three quarters of an hour, with the extremities feeling as if they might drop off any second, the wife of the couple who had invited us suggested that we might perhaps like a warm up, a break and a drink. I think that she had perhaps planned an escape route under the house to warmer climes.

In seconds the garden emptied and in went the assembled crowd to warm up by the fire and have a drink. Sadly though, it was not to last, and before long our enthusiastic host pulled us outside again to see the remains of the display. Eight more we were told. Well after six or seven, wife of host went over to have a look. "Don't stand there" said host. "They're the fireworks." She came back. "There's still another huge box to get through" she said, slightly dismayed. Next came the highlight for the kids when the most expensive firework of all exploded on the neighbour's fence, to the great amusement of all under the age of fourteen. All over that age were thinking what might have happened to the neighbours, law suits and ambulances. Host's wife made note to visit in morning to check state of affairs.

Finally, the display finished, approximately an hour and a half after the start. Had the host's wife herself not been quite so rude about her husband's pyrotechnics, which even outweighed the antics of hubby's colleagues the year before, I may just not have written it in a blog. To say that we were a little cold would be a bit of a serious understatement. Thankfully the drink flowed and the fire roared thereafter, and so the evening proved to be a great success...........

BUT, just in case anyone is thinking about inviting me to a fireworks party next year - PLEASE may I watch just a quarter of an hour of it from somewhere warm??!!!


Damian said...

We've got a garden for the first time since moving to the UK, so we planned a guy fawkes party with a few fireworks.

Saturday party guest texts to say two for one offer at Tescos. He'd put his selection on the counter and they said, "Two for one offer", and promptly doubled it. He could barely fit the boxes into his Porsche.

After the first hour there were three men running around the garden playing with fire and making things go bang, and six women and another man sitting in the kitchen toasting marshmallows over the fire.

Also know a little of how your son feels, because we're Catholic and Guy Fawkes is an essentially anti-Catholic event. We like to think we celebrate it in an ironic manner.

Sally Lomax said...

Perhaps the Tesco offer explains the extremely long display..

Personally I think I'd have been one of the ones in the kitchen with the marshmallows!

Thanks for commenting. Too pink or not?