Now that we don't let off fireworks in our back gardens anymore, living in fear perhaps of the Thought Police coming round and hosing us all down, we tend to gravitate towards our local recreation ground. So my boys and I stood around whilst two men ran about with a box of matches and a lot of rockets went up out of milk bottles (I assume). We tucked into big fat beefburgers with slices of processed cheese melting in them, but the bonfire was the best bit. There's something very primitive about a blazing pile of wood and straw bales, and I noticed a thoughtful, if slightly worrying, gleam appear in my four-year-old's eyes. He then thought that it would be a good idea to watch the display from one of the swings, so out in the peripheral blackness I pushed him higher and higher on his rubber tyre seat, a little black silhouette gazing up into the heavens as if he was part of the performance. Fantastic. When he started to fight with his elder brother on a seesaw, and I realised they weren't going to burn an effigy of a Pope, or anybody else come to that, I said 'Shall we go and watch Robin Hood?' and with shouts of glee they ran off back to the car, backlit by Whizzbangs and brilliant white Catherine Wheels.
Alan Feltus: guided by instinct
1 day ago