With cousins and aunts in Lewes, bonfire is something we’ve meant to do for ages. Train down, lunch with Sophia, then an afternoon at (cousin) Rachel’s house, just off the High Street and an absolutely perfect place to watch and foray out from. She and Peter cooked wonderful food; Peter’s Susanne came around and Gordon was back from Paris in the evening.
Bonfire is a bizarre mix of discipline and anarchy which includes a lot of dressing up (pirates, red indians, military uniforms and stripy jumpers); a lot of noise (Chinese firecrackers, illegal French bangers, military marching bands, drum bands) and a lot of processioning (backwards and forwards up and down almost every street).
The effigies are huge – we got Assad and L’il Kim as well as many Guy Fawkes – and the streets are hot with the firebrands that get carried and then collected into barrows when they are discarded.
And then each bonfire society has a fireworks display in the fields all round the edge of Lewes – there’s space to watch without getting squashed and no polite pauses between each lot of fireworks. A really wonderful day.