View From The Glen

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November the Fifth

Yesterday was November the Fifth, which in Canada doesn't mean much but in England is a day for fireworks, potatoes cooked in embers so that they are burnt on the outside and inedible inside, and of course the extrememly medieval practice of committing the effigy of a man to the flames of a bonfire. Burning Guy Fawkes-who was really just the fall guy for the mastermind of the gun powder plot, Robert Catesby - may have fallen out of favour in our more politically correct times (when I tried explaining what to me was a fun childhood tradition to my children, I found myself reeling from my own explanations), but Guy himself, largely due to the graphic novel and movie V for Vendetta, has made something of a comeback as the face of protest.

As interesting as this all is (and in the wake of the current Occupy protests, there are some interesting parallels) it's not what this blog is about today.

This weekend, my parents visited, and since it was such a glorious day on Saturday I had the bright idea to have a November 5th bonfire. Dad bought some fireworks, the kids and Andrew dragged wood, and I sat around sipping wine. The usual division of labour on the farm. It was a cold enough night once the sun went down, we had a brief interlude of rounding up sheep (never a dull moment), and then we settled in around the fire and managed to make it through to dark when the fireworks lit up the night.

We did not burn a guy. But we did cook potatoes in the embers to go with dinner. And they were excellent.

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