Saturday, November 5, 2011

Remember Remember

The school organized a Guy Fawkes night out at their Shunyi campus. I'm pretty sure it's the first time we've celebrated the event overseas. There were hot dogs, beer, corn-on-the-cob, toffee apples and marshmallows-on-sticks which you could toast over a fire (bit isn't that Hallowe'en?). Sadly, the bonfire was tiddly and the fireworks underwhelming, but the children had a great time running around in the dark.

I have vague but fond memories of standing in a muddy field near Chichester listening to the oooo's and aaaah's as a few pathetic rockets went up into a damp, chilly sky. I also recall a rather sinister Guy Fawkes night in Lewes, the biggest in Britain, just down the road from where I was at college. It not only commemorates the uncovering of the Gunpowder Plot, but also the martyrdom of 17 protestants during the Marian Persecutions, 50 years earlier. So along with Mr Fawkes, an effigy of the Pope also gets burnt to a crisp. The year I went, 1982, they also exploded an effigy of General Galtieri in an orgy of post-Falklands War jingoism. Not nice.

By the way, the Scottish band Remember Remember are well worth investigating.

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