Thursday, 5 November 2009

Remember, Remember

Remember, remember the Fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

Today is Guy Fawkes Day, a traditional English celebration dating back to the early 17th century.   Guy Fawkes was one of the leading conspirators in a plot to blow up Parliament in 1605.   He and his fellow plotters, who wanted the restoration of the Catholic faith in England, stored large quantities of gunpowder in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament, to be ignited when King James I and most of the nobility were inside for the State Opening.   However, the plot was betrayed and Guy Fawkes and his gang were arrested and ultimately beheaded.

We celebrate Guy Fawkes Day with fireworks and bonfires, traditionally burning an effigy of Guy Fawkes (from whose name derives the term "guy" for a man).   In recent years the American (and much more commercial) festival of Hallowe'en seems to be taking over, and Health & Safety are imposing their own ludicrous restrictions on the fun.   For instance, a rugby club in Devon has been forced to have a "virtual bonfire", when participants will gather round a giant screen showing a fire, to the accompaniment of recorded crackling noises, a smoke machine, and sparklers.


  1. Hi Priscilla

    I've enjoyed visiting your Blog. I found it when I was looking for an Ogden Nash quote.

    Guy Fawkes and Hallowe'en are festivals I dread. I wouldn't mind fireworks being set off on one night, but they start in mid October and continue until January, and I am completely unable to control the hysterical barking of my terrified dog. I've tried a Vet prescribed medicine, herbal biscuits, homeopathy and nothing works.

    As for Hallowe'en, I have a black cat, and they are at risk over that period. Some cats are tortured and suffer horrific injuries at Hallowe'en.

    The extended Guy Fawkes period and the risk to cats, especially black cats at Hallowe'en, is a symptom of a changed England.

    In Yesterday's England, ordinary decent people would not pass by a distressed child without offering help. Neither would they stand and watch a 7yr old drowning in a pond and make no attempt at rescue.

    Things have changed, and I wish we could turn the clock back. It seems to me that the officialdom regard everyone as 'guilty by default'. When my daughter was in College, they were not allowed to refer to 'black' trousers. The 'correct' term was 'dark' trousers. There are so many silly rules like that which we are completely unaware of, that we break them in all innocence and someone gets upset.

    How did we get to this mad place? And how will we ever get out of it to return to the down-to-earth, sensible, honourable and decent place England once was?

    I wish I knew.


  2. Dear Sue,

    Thank you very much for your comments. I agree with everything you say. I think we can only hope that one day the pendulum will swing back again and people will wake up and realise what we have become and throw out the people who are perpetrating the nonsense.

    Regarding your dog, I am so sorry that he suffers so much over fireworks. I have a dog myself, and though she does get restless when fireworks are going off, she can usually be reassured. I don't know what to suggest, you seem to have tried everything. Earplugs?

    And I had no idea that people torture black cats at Hallowe'en. It is hard to understand that, as it is hard to understand so much of what goes on in this country today.

    Best wishes