Bonfire Night

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

I pretty much take it or leave it. Sometimes I'll go to a bonfire / firework display, sometimes the whole thing passes me by. But I will never forget the first Bonfire Night I went to at our next door neighbour's house, when I was five years old.

In the run up to the event our neighbours, walked up and down the street showing off the guy that they had made. He had a snazzy top hat, purple jacket and stripey coloured trousers. His mask was something similar to that of Beetlejuice (although this obviously predates that by, ahem, a few years).

When the night arrived I was so excited, my Mum bundled me up in hat, scarf and gloves and off we went. Dad lifted me up and dropped me over the fence. I don't remember many other details of the evening, but I know we had sparklers and hotdogs.

We ohh'ed and ahh'ed at some fireworks and then the guy was carried out and placed on top of the bonfire. The bonfire was lit and the flames crackled and spat as it took hold of the kindling and wood. I was standing next to my Mum, looking up at the guy who seemed to be looking directly at me, with it's weird white face and wonky smile.

Just as the bonfire started licking at the hems of his trousers he moved. I froze. 'It's alright Hazel, it's just the wood moving underneath him' my Mum told me. Before I could completely relax the guy slid further down and landed solidly on his feet. He stood there 6ft away from me. And then he started to walk towards me.

My Mum says that never again has she heard me scream like I did that night.

My neighbour had decided to play a joke on us all and dress up as the guy, my screams had her tearing off the mask to try and comfort me but I was having none of it. I didn't speak to her for a week.

Of course now I think it's hilarious, my poor neighbour must have been mortified to have caused me such terror! But, boy, did that stay with me throughout my childhood, I stayed well clear of any guy that I saw and to be honest I'm still not that keen...

How are you celebrating bonfire night?

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  1. I'm staying in with a good book, soup and tea. Yep, I can take it or leave it too!
    Claire xx

    1. Sounds good. I do love a Bonfire I'm just not worried about doing it on a particular night.

  2. That is genuinely terrifying. I think I'd freak out now as an adult, let alone as a five year old!

  3. Hazel, I'm pretty sure I would've reacted exactly as you did. We're quite impressionable at the age of 5. As an American, understandably, have never heard of this event. Part of it sounds very much like our Independence Day celebrations, with exception to the guy. Happy Day!


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