Sunday, 6 November 2011

Gunpowder, Treason and Plot

(You may have trouble viewing this in Germany)

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
And what should we do with him? Burn him!

Well, it's that time of year again when Brits like to blow things up. No, not election time - although it was born of one man's desire to blow up the houses of parliament. An aspiration I'm sure most of us currently sympathise with.

This year I headed to Hollowell with my nephew and family. It's the next village up and hosts a huge steam rally each summer. Lots of engines turn up for bonfire night too. They sound their horns to signal the start of the firework display.

Hollowell is renowned for the sheer size of its bonfire. You probably can't see from the video as it's very dark and I'm only using a photo camera (one stop up from a mobile phone!) - but here's a picture lifted from their website.


Local schools and organisations build Guys to burn. We arrived well after the bonfire had been lit this year, but here's the Guy toppling in 2009.

video

Fairly gruesome when you think about it. Everyone stands around cheering and happily munching on candyfloss whilst re-enacting a public execution.

Bonfire 2009
 The following pictures are all from this year.


Traffic coming through our village to get there, and leaving the field on the way out. Glad we walked!


Merrick re-living his military days behind the wheel of a Leyland. He drove many hundreds of miles in one of those.



A better shot of that beautiful organ. The video didn't do it justice.

That rounded up a lovely break in the country. Well, I say break, I spent two weeks editing my third novel, Lucid. Also been finalising the cover art for Georg[i]e and doing a few other bits here and there. It was a productive and rather intensive retreat.

Drove back to Gloucester today. It was an unsettling experience. Last Friday, Britain saw the worst road traffic accident in over a decade. Seven people died in a thirty-four car pileup on the M5 near Taunton. Although much further north, I take a stretch of the M5 to get home. Every billboard was flashing the closure of junctions 24-25. It was a sobering reminder and most people seemed to be driving with more caution than usual. Horribly tragic loss of life in the run-up to Yule. Commendable reaction from our emergency services.

And on that sombre note, goodnight.

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