Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007-2013. Please give credit where credit is due.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Remember, remember

Chilly and damp. Overcast.

Remember, remember
The fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I see no reason
Why gunpowder and treason
Ever should be forgot.

No vast autumn bonfires here tonight. No magical boxes of Standard Fireworks, all red and purple from Maddens' locked glass cabinet and hidden until now in the garage. No Catherine wheels or Roman candles, no rockets in milk bottles, no volcanoes. No Uncle Geoff and his mates lighting blue touch paper with their cigarettes. No hotdogs or potatoes in their jackets.

No scarecrows in dolls' prams outside the church hall. No "Penny for the Guy".

No frosty night crackling with the smell of gunpowder. No frozen little fingers, woolly hats. No Christmas-coming-soon.

My children don't know this English autumn rite. Don't know the story of Guy Fawkes, Robert Catesby and Father Garnet, of the desperate plot they hatched not far from where I was born. Haven't stared, goggle-eyed, when learning of their gruesome end.

I wonder if they will have room in their lives for two histories?



11 comments:

Cairo Typ0 said...

In all the blogs i've read today you're the first person who has made mention of it being Guy Fawkes day.

Remember...

Louise said...

Is that a good thing, I wonder?

Christine Gram said...

It's hard to wrap your mind around two histories. Something I think about living far from home. The things I remember are mine, not theirs. Sometimes that's hard to realize.

Chairman Bill said...

My son asked me if I wouldn't mind sitting still in a pram with my usual casual clothes on so he could collect a penny for the guy.

Anonymous said...

We've managed to bring up the boys with two cultural heritages, and they seem to take pride in their particular melded identities. I think if you make the stories and especially the activities compelling (a few sparklers and jacket potatoes for dinner go a long way), they'll share your enthusiasm. And you deserve to celebrate your history and identity, too. (Stephanie in NY)

Woodman said...

Come back Guy and your mates, we really need you to do the job properly this time.

choirgirl said...

Can you get fireworks in italy? If so, a few pretty fountains and catherine wheels plus a special dinner cooked inside but eaten, with outdoor clothes still on, would create the atmosphere of 5th november. Sausages and jacket potatoes as already suggested. Or you could have a small bonfire in the garden too.

LindyLouMac said...

I enjoy fireworks in Italy far more than I ever did in England. Usually the weather was damp and dismal for Guy Fawkes!

LadyFi said...

We don't do Guy Fawkes' Night in Sweden either... I do miss those bonfires, fireworks, baked potatoes and sparklers though!

Louise said...

Christine : yes, you're right. I guess my Guy Fawkes' will be their castagnata.

Stephanie : Hello! Return email coming your way soon! You've given me an idea - I never even thought that we could/should have these celebrations even though we're over here. I don't know why not, now I come to think of it - I've been to 4th July celebrations in Italy, Hong Kong, France, and Spain! So why not bonfire night in Piemonte! Next year.

Alan Burnett said...

Teach the children about Bonfire Night quick before it vanishes for good. It is already being overtaken by Halloween.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Remember, remember

Chilly and damp. Overcast.

Remember, remember
The fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I see no reason
Why gunpowder and treason
Ever should be forgot.

No vast autumn bonfires here tonight. No magical boxes of Standard Fireworks, all red and purple from Maddens' locked glass cabinet and hidden until now in the garage. No Catherine wheels or Roman candles, no rockets in milk bottles, no volcanoes. No Uncle Geoff and his mates lighting blue touch paper with their cigarettes. No hotdogs or potatoes in their jackets.

No scarecrows in dolls' prams outside the church hall. No "Penny for the Guy".

No frosty night crackling with the smell of gunpowder. No frozen little fingers, woolly hats. No Christmas-coming-soon.

My children don't know this English autumn rite. Don't know the story of Guy Fawkes, Robert Catesby and Father Garnet, of the desperate plot they hatched not far from where I was born. Haven't stared, goggle-eyed, when learning of their gruesome end.

I wonder if they will have room in their lives for two histories?



11 comments:

Cairo Typ0 said...

In all the blogs i've read today you're the first person who has made mention of it being Guy Fawkes day.

Remember...

Louise said...

Is that a good thing, I wonder?

Christine Gram said...

It's hard to wrap your mind around two histories. Something I think about living far from home. The things I remember are mine, not theirs. Sometimes that's hard to realize.

Chairman Bill said...

My son asked me if I wouldn't mind sitting still in a pram with my usual casual clothes on so he could collect a penny for the guy.

Anonymous said...

We've managed to bring up the boys with two cultural heritages, and they seem to take pride in their particular melded identities. I think if you make the stories and especially the activities compelling (a few sparklers and jacket potatoes for dinner go a long way), they'll share your enthusiasm. And you deserve to celebrate your history and identity, too. (Stephanie in NY)

Woodman said...

Come back Guy and your mates, we really need you to do the job properly this time.

choirgirl said...

Can you get fireworks in italy? If so, a few pretty fountains and catherine wheels plus a special dinner cooked inside but eaten, with outdoor clothes still on, would create the atmosphere of 5th november. Sausages and jacket potatoes as already suggested. Or you could have a small bonfire in the garden too.

LindyLouMac said...

I enjoy fireworks in Italy far more than I ever did in England. Usually the weather was damp and dismal for Guy Fawkes!

LadyFi said...

We don't do Guy Fawkes' Night in Sweden either... I do miss those bonfires, fireworks, baked potatoes and sparklers though!

Louise said...

Christine : yes, you're right. I guess my Guy Fawkes' will be their castagnata.

Stephanie : Hello! Return email coming your way soon! You've given me an idea - I never even thought that we could/should have these celebrations even though we're over here. I don't know why not, now I come to think of it - I've been to 4th July celebrations in Italy, Hong Kong, France, and Spain! So why not bonfire night in Piemonte! Next year.

Alan Burnett said...

Teach the children about Bonfire Night quick before it vanishes for good. It is already being overtaken by Halloween.