Friday 6 November 2009

Bonfire night

I hate to say this, but I really don't like Bonfire Night. I think this stems from 2 incidents from my childhood that are still crystal clear in my memory.
The first was when I was about 5 years old and I had vomitted big style all over my favorite doll which was a proper Rag Doll called "Snotty Lottie". Try as she may, my mother could not get rid of the smell of the vom from Lottie, and so she thought it would be a great idea to use her as a Guy Folks on the bonfire!! I don't think she got her parenting skills from Spock - I think they were all her making! I'm not still traumatised by the image of my best bedtime buddy going up in smoke - but I still can see her to this day!
A few years later, I (just me on my own) had been invited to sleep over at the home of the "wealthy" branch of the family who were having a bonfire party. My mum kitted me out in a new hand knitted (very itchy - she only ever used cheap wool) pullover, and she treated me to a beautiful pair of brown suede shoes that I couldn't wear until I went to the wealthy cousins house. All was going well. They had a very tasteful "workmans brazier" instead of a fire (I told you they were posh!) and they were cooking potatoes in the fire which were delicious, but then someone lit a firework too close to me and a spark fell on my shoe and burned straight through to my foot. Now I was in pain from this ever so tiny burn, but I felt sick with fear thinking what my mums reaction was going to be to the hole in the brand new shoe. I couldn't sleep that night, and my uncle ended up taking me home - because of the burn, he thought, but it was in fact to get the wrath of my mum over and done with!! Fortunately, I didn't get the blame, but I did have to wear the shoe with its hole in, until it didn't fit me anymore.

When I had kids, I didn't want to transfer my fears onto them, but too many bonfire nights spent with friends/relatives pyromaniac hubby's, and a couple of organised displays that didn't go as well as they should, means that my bonfire nights now are rather tame affairs. We will be holding a Bonfire Barbecue on Sunday (the rain was too torrential last night) and I will make do with watching others fireworks from the relative safety of my garden.

I thought my photo looked slightly like fireworks, but it was actually an attempt to take a picture of the Arc de Triumph whilst crossing the road at twilight. It didn't turn out how I thought it would, but I quite like it.


Karen said...

Not very happy memories. We lived in Scotland for 20 years and experiences that many Guy Fawkes bonfires. They always made me uneasy. The fires seemed too big and a little out of control--as were many of the bystanders. A barbecue bonfire sounds much better!

Lyn said...

Oh dear!
well I watched fireworks from our lounge window as we couldn't face the rain! I too like the photo, very 'dramatic' if you ask me!
PS I'm game for the 29th in Wakefield, will be in touch nearer to the time

A Bun Can Dance said...

Oh, it's really not good, is it?
But it all sounds so very familiar - not least the doll story. I had a special doll and in the eagerness of sorting out toys one day my Dad inadvertently put my favourite doll on the bonfire (a getting rid of rubbish bonfire, rather than a Guy Fawkes Bonfire!).
You may not be traumatised, but I am even now.....
You see Diane, you and I have lived parallel lives - not only Donny but now Joan of Arc Dolls too!!!
Have a peaceful weekend without too many bangs!
Denise x

andamento said...

I can't believe your Mum burnt your doll as a Guy - shocking!

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Oh dear! Those really aren't good associations at all bless you, so happy Saturday instead immerse yourself in sequins this evenong and join in with the dancing down Blackpool way! tee hee,


Lisa said...

Oh dear, the doll business was very sad, what a thing to watch!
I prefer going to watch an organised display near us by the waterfront, but with Tilly here this year it didn't happen.
Lisa x

Rowan said...

Great photo - it really does look like fireworks! I've always liked Bonfire Night but I have happy memories of childhood when we always went to a bonfire at a neighbours house, just the half dozen families close by. I also spent several hours under an umbrella when my children were small and we persevered with the bonfire and fireworks in spite of it nearly always raining. Haven't been to one for years but tonight I'm going with No 1 son and his family to the village bonfire - I'm just hoping it stays dry!

Rosie said...

What a sad tale about your doll - I had a similar experience when I had to 'bury' my first teddy (called teddy one-eye) in the dustbin as he was falling apart and stuffing was coming out - I still have the bear that replaced him! I loved bonfire night as a child - we used to have it on my friend's Dad's allotment with fireworks, sparklers, bonfire toffee and jacket potatoes - we just had to watch out for the jumping jacks and bangers that her elder brothers used to tease us with:)


Your post made me laugh a lot, sorry dear, not at your misfortunes as I think your Mum has a lot to answer for but it's the way you tell 'em

I've given up on bonfire night too. Every year I get excited about it a couple of months in advance and as the time approaches the weather is always abominable. Usually rain stops play, but this year we have had gales and rain and hailstorms

I didn't venture out again this year ...

Take care, lots of love
Carolyn ♥

Bumble Bee Cottage said...

Hi Diane, I can see why Bonfire Night is not a favourite of yours. I too vomited on a favourite bedtime toy and my Mum washed it and hung it on the line but this being Australia it got ‘flyblown’ i.e. fly laid their little eggs in my poor koala so my maggoty friend was sadly binned. What would life be without a few childhood traumas?


BadPenny said...

oh poor you & your doll - how awful.

We lived in Spain for a while where the fireworks are quite scarey - all bang & no sparkle. Our daughter was in her pram & slept through the lot !

My husband is always asked to help light the fireworks but has to decline as he's terrified of lighting them !

We haven't done anything this year. DD went out with her friends to a big display & got soaked

Louise said...

I think I'm a terrible person as I've laughed so much at these tales that I've choked on my cup of tea (that's retribution for me)- your fave doll going up in smoke (hottie Lottie) must have been awful but there's such comedy in the scene too from the way you tell it.