We went to Bonfire Night last night. Bonfire Night is about Guy Fawkes, from my understanding. In fact, I only knew it as Guy Fawkes Night, not so much as bonfire night. Not that I know much about it, it’s only via Brits in Munich I learnt of it. I just wonder if the name has become more PC by calling it Bonfire Night than Guy Fawkes. None the less, there was the figure of a body (Guy) on the fire. There wasn’t just a bonfire though, they also had a fireworks display after the bonfire had burnt down after an hour or so. Bonfire and fireworks seems to be SOP for the night, with every little village and area doing it.
It was a perfect night for a bonfire. It was brisk and cool, but not freezing and absolutely no wind. It hasn’t rained in a few days, there’s only been heavy frost, so everything was wet enough to be safe, but not so wet as to be depressing. On top of that, a very clear sky with a full moon made the night, easy to see and get around. Which G and I were happy about, as we didn’t know where were going and it was less eerie when we could see where we were going.
I bought the tickets for the evening at the local supermarket, but neglected to ask where it was. Without internet or a map of the area at home, we were a bit stuck. So I went next door and asked our neighbour, who explained where it was. It was the other side of the village, so we drove part of the way. In the end, we probably only saved about a third of the drive, but I was glad we did, as I wasn’t moving exactly quickly last night.
There were a lot of people there, certainly more than just Cookham locals. Hmm, what is someone from Cookham called? Someone from Birmingham is called a Brummie, does that make someone from Cookam a Cookie? Haha. I don’t know, but an interesting question. Anyways, as I said, a lot of people there, which was a surprise, as we could hear and see fireworks going off all over the place, there didn’t seem to be a reason why people would specifically come to Cookham to watch them.
The bonfire had just been lit when we arrived at the site. It was really smoky at first, and it looked like something out of Harry Potter with the big billows of smoke illuminated by the moonlight. Once the fire really caught, the flames were going up to about 15 metres high at some points which was really impressive. You could really feel the heat coming from it, but once the flames died down, it was much cooler again. We decided to line up for some mulled wine and just as we did, the fireworks started. Lots of people left the line-up, (oh, maybe I should start calling it a queue now... nah, line-up is fine) to watch the fireworks from closer, so our waiting time went down from probably 30 minutes to around 10, which was how long the fireworks lasted. They weren't bad for a local display, certainly loud and bright enough. I don't see why anyone would need to get closer, but some people probably get a kick out of being right under them. After the fireworks, it was basically over, so we walked back to the car. Having walked it once, it didn't seem as long to walk back. All in all, a nice evening.