Letters to a Sister : 28

Did you do anything exciting for Bonfire Night? We didn’t on the 5th, although we did go to a parade on the Saturday. Edenbridge in Kent has an evening parade with flaming torches and small children wearing flammable costumes on floats. I watched with a mix of horrible fascination and fear. No one got hurt. It is actually very atmospheric, you stand in the dark High Street and watch as the flaming torches come nearer, the marching bands drumming, the children all waving frantically at everyone they know, the crowd shouting abuse when Guy Fawkes passes. (Bleary photos below. I am no photographer….)

They also each year burn an effigy of a generally disliked person, which I’m not quite sure about. One year it was Jimmy Savile, complete with ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ badge. This year it was Sepp Blatter (I am slightly unsure of the spelling here. On UK social media it’s spelt Seb, on foreign sites it’s Sepp. Apologies if it’s wrong. Though frankly, that seems less bad than burning him.)

When you think about it, it’s a rather bizarre festival. I didn’t give it much thought until we were living in the US and I explained to a friend how we commemorate the near blowing-up of Parliament in 1606 by Guy Fawkes by exploding fireworks and burning effigies of him. She just sort of looked at me, clearly wondering if I belonged to a sect similar to the KKK.

Do you remember when we were children and dressed up A, (younger cousin) as a guy and wheeled him to the shops? Actually, I think I wheeled him in your very special doll’s push-chair that I wasn’t allowed to touch, so possibly you didn’t know at the time. Anyway, he wore Dad’s old clothes and a wig and looked exactly like a real Guy and then every so often he would move and give old ladies a shock. Hugely funny and thankfully no one had a heart attack. Husband assures me that Disney probably didn’t copy our idea for all the ‘human statues’ that you now see in cities around the world, but I feel we were ahead of our time.

Had a pretty ordinary week this week. Saturday we went to the supermarket, which is always bit of an adventure. Especially now they have stopped giving away free bags. I love watching all the men (it is always men) trying to carry twenty-seven individual items without a bag. I think clothes with massive pockets are soon to make a come-back.

Animals all pretty stable. Hens are now kept in until midday, so I do actually get some eggs in their nesting boxes. They are then free to roam the garden until they take themselves back to their perch at dusk. It is the only good thing about changing the clocks – the chickens go to bed nice and early and I can shut the door to keep out the fox before I go out for the evening.
Mungo, the inside cat, escaped a few times. I found him having fun with the outside cats and felt too mean to keep him inside. So now he’s allowed out the cat-flap at night, when we have hardly any cars in the lane. He must party all night because he’s completely exhausted now in the daytime and mews very crossly if I disturb him by picking him up. Makes for a nice peaceful house. Kia, the GSD, is certainly grateful that the ‘chase a noisy plastic egg for hours non stop’ game seems to have ended.
I haven’t seen a rat at the pond for ages now. Not sure if they’ve moved on due to all the cats or if they hibernate. Will need to do a google search.
Still no duck eggs but they’re all getting a bit old now, plus ducks are moody and wont lay if the weather’s wrong.

I am enjoying some long evenings reading next to the fire before the whole Christmas rush starts.

Take care,
Anne xxx



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