Bonfire Night 2016 – as fun as a damp firework

So, today is Bonfire Night. One of my favourite nights of the year. You get to stand in a field (or generic public space near your home), freezing, nursing a mulled wine/cider or spiked hot cocoa, while you try not to make a wrong step in the dark and end up down a rabbit hole or ditch (or drain should you be a chic city dweller) and ooh and ahh at the fireworks. 

It. Is. Glorious. 

My love of Bonfire Night has only increased since having Little Miss too, seeing her insane excitement at the sight of fireworks!

Alas, this year, our Bonfire Night resembles more of a damp firework that won’t light than a snazzy display in time to the Lord of the Rings music. 

I’m back in Sunderland this weekend visiting Grandmo to give my dad a break. The Other Half (who is hungover today after a work do) and Little Miss (who came down with flu yesterday) stayed home this time as we didn’t feel it was appropriate for LM to visit anymore. 

Grandmo is just about hanging on, stubbornly (I’d expect nothing less) but will no longer acknowledge anyone’s presence apart from the nurses and carers here. So I’ve spent today sat by her bedside reading my book, admiring the view of the sea and having the occasional conversation with what feels like thin air. 

I had forgotten how cold it gets up here during the winter. It’s only November 5 and already, it’s 4 degrees (though the Met Office app informs me it ‘feels like -1,’ which I can confirm, it feels like -1) with a wind that whips round your ears like teeny tiny razor blades. 

Freezing on the Sunderland seafront, Seaburn.

So cold!! This is definitely not how my coat is supposed to be worn!


I popped out for lunch earlier and  it was so cold I even heard a local saying she couldn’t feel her fingers. This made me feel better – I’m not just a softie Southerner.

At home, I can only imagine the fun The OH and LM have had, both of them high on paracetamol! (I got an update about midday saying ‘Kung Fu Panda is such a good film.’)  

I assume this means bonfire celebrations are off at home too as Little Miss sips Calpol (always in line with the packaging recommendations, naturally) curled up under a blanket on the sofa wth Lambie and new pal, Nelly Elly.

Even Nina was texting saying she had a crap day, stuck at home waiting for a delivery that has never showed up and then managed to lock herself outside without a key or a coat. Good one Nina. 

Not the Finding Our Feet crew’s finest Saturday, let alone Bonfire Night. 

It’s 4:30pm here in Sunderland and already dark. It’s the last night of the ‘infamous’ (imagine me doing ‘air quotes’ with extreme exaggeration there) Sunderland Illuminations tonight, though I am yet to see a single soul brace the cold sea front! There’s a woman in the room next door that continually shouts ‘Hey!’ every five minutes since Grandmo first checked in six or seven weeks ago. I can hear two different TVs in rooms nearby blaring two different programmes. But the staff are impossibly chipper and kind.

We (ie, the carers, who Grandmo will at least nod or shake her head for, which is more than she’ll do for us) finally got her to admit she was in pain today. So they administered morphine and she’s been a lot calmer since then. All we can hope is that she’s as comfortable as she can be and that it’s not long now.

I’m heading to get my train back to London soon. I’ll get home about 10 or 11pm tonight, provided there’s no delays.
Colleagues yesterday joked I’ll see more fireworks than anyone in the country as my train whizzes the length of the country this evening! But in reality, it’s probably one of the pantsest (yes, it’s a word…) Bonfire Nights I’ve had to date.

But pretty safe to say it’s not as pants as Grandmo’s. 

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6 thoughts on “Bonfire Night 2016 – as fun as a damp firework

  1. Terri says:

    yes it does sound pretty pants but I think being there from Grandmo when she wont acknowledge you is pretty awesome. Lots of granddaughters would have chosen not to go “what’s the point? it’s cold, she ignores me and ill miss my child(ren)” i’m sure it meant a lot to her to have you there even if she couldn’t show it and I hope you have a cracker of a bonfire night next year. Ours is pretty pants too as my 6 year old is terrified of fireworks!

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