Monday, 7 November 2011

Bonfire Night

Saturday night was "Bonfire Night" or "Guy Fawkes Night" or "Fireworks Night" in the UK.  The history of the day doesn't seem to be of much importance anymore; people just see it as a night to get together and light firecrackers and stand around big bonfires.  You can read more about the actual history involved here.

Jason, Charlie and I met up with our friends Tas and Al (Tas and I met while she was studying at Hopkins) in Blackheath.  We had a curry and then headed over to the heath for the fireworks show (along with an approximated 99,996 other people).  Though the heath was absolutely overflowing with people, we managed to get a good spot to enjoy the show.

We were right by this gorgeous church set on the edge of the heath:

The fireworks show itself was great!  It last about fifteen minutes or so.

Charlie wasn't scared at all!  Hardly phased by the whole thing, actually.  She would watch the show for a while and then look around at all the people and watch some more. 

After the show, we accidentally ended up on a long pilgrimage down a random side path off of a main road.  We thought we were taking a short cut to a pub (to wait out the crowds headed to the trains) but it wasn't quite as quick as we thought it would be.  We weren't fussed though.  It was a lovely little stroll and we passed some sweet houses and other sites along the way.  This old church was one of them:

Once we made it through the worst of the crowds, we followed St Margaret's Passage toward the pub.  (Our house in Maryland was on St Margaret's Way!)

The pub was an adorably small local pub.  It had a little fireplace and lots of little tables and comfy chairs.  I wish I would have taken more pictures!  We all thought it was the cutest thing.  The best part was the old man in a suit and bow tie (who has probably been going to this pub for ages).  He kept rounding up everyone's empty glasses and bringing them to the bar.  We thought he might work there, but as the night wore on, it became clear that he was just a very loyal customer.  How sweet is that?!

While at the pub, Tas recognised a friend of hers from when she was a kid!  We sat and chatted with him and his friend "Flaps" (don't ask) and had a great time.

Charlie had a great time at the pub, too . . . a great time sleeping, that is:

We had a great first Bonfire Night here in the UK and are looking forward to many more.  We also found Blackheath so charming that we've decided to add it to our list of potential new neighborhoods once our lease is up in March!  A good night all around.

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