Autumn:

Chrysanth

It’s Autumn or, if you live in some parts of the world, Fall. I have said elsewhere that I love the wonderful Chrysanthemum blooms that we can sometimes find in the florists’ emporia  at this time of year. I say sometimes because they are increasingly rare in these times of all year round carnations and freesias, not to mention roses, alstromeria and gerberas.

Tonight is our annual celebration of Bonfire or Guy Fawkes Night. In reality this is a celebration of an old fire festival called Samhain that has been transferred from the eve of November 1st, now overtaken by Hallowe’en shenanigans.

As kids we never had bonfires as we always seemed to live too close to farmyards and hay ricks but  Fireworks Night was always opened with a salvo of a “penny banger” and jumping jacks, neither of which are available today. A variety of explosive devices followed: Roman Candles, Golden Rain, Volcanoes, Traffic Lights and Catherine Wheels (a gruesome thought). Always we ended up with an expensive rocket. Sparklers always featured (which reminds me: I have forgotten to buy some this year).
Sometimes we were treated to Bonfire Toffee, a particularly hard and tooth breaking version of Treacle Toffee.

It seems to me that I recall these essentially fun filled times, for that was my father’s intention, being spoiled quite often by my mother’s comments. “There goes another half crown” or perhaps it was a shilling or even five shillings. Something of this ilk was always muttered, sotto voce, as my father, pyrotechnician in chief, sey off another device. Eventually the chief firework-lighter himself would blow up in his own inimitable and frightening way and bellow at us all.

One thing I wil say for him: I never heard any of the vile language one hears too often today. He did not need it.

In those post war days of posterity we  were content with what we had. We never dreamed of having any more but today it seems that fireworks have to be large enough to propel a wartime high explosive shell and make just as much noise thus frightening the local animal population out of their wits. Feeding the cats tonight is going to be difficult to say the least.

Mind you. I do love the spectacle.

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2 Responses to “Autumn:”

  1. Grannymar Says:

    If I can watch fireworks from inside the comfort of my own home then I am happy. Growing up Halloween was a quiet family affair. BarmBrack with a ring in it, at the end of our meal, bobbing apples and ghost stories round the fire were our tradition, ‘Remember, remember, the 5th of November’ was something that went on over on your side of the pond.

  2. magpie11 Says:

    Barmbrak….. ooh! Family controversy here….. a;; to do with what mother in law calls barmbrak… NO yeast….. I understood that there wer eothe things in the Barmbrak as well as a ring… like the charms we used to have in our Christmas Pudding.

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