I’ve been shopping, and I’m going to see a friend in hospital. I hate hospitals, it’s the smell – and that’s ironic really, because for years I used to work for a company that outfitted intensive care units and operating theatres. I’d work with the staff after the installations to make sure that they knew what all the buttons did.
I’m afraid I enjoyed the weekend rather too well, I should have shopped but didn’t. Which is fine for me, I can get by on chick peas on toast, but it’s an indicator of poor parenting skills when your dogs have to breakfast on cornflakes and gravy! (Don’t feed your dogs cornflakes – it’s LOUD, and certainly don’t mix them with gravy unless you want to spend 15 minutes scraping brown sticky shrapnel off your walls).
So tonight we walked to the light of an enormous brass coloured moon. A sparkle of coloured lights reminded us of what time of year it is. We do celebrate Hallowe’en, All Hallows, (Walpurgis nicht), but we are also very big on bonfire night – or Guy Fawkes night. A strange celebration at face value, setting off fireworks and burning a “Guy” on a bonfire to demonstrate I suppose what the sky over Kensington might have looked like if our anti-hero had actually managed to light the blue touch paper on the barrels of gunpowder hidden in the Houses of Parliament.
Don’t get me wrong, I like bonfire night. I enjoy the fireworks and the treacle toffee and the bonfire itself – there’s nothing like a good “bonnie” tightening the skin on your face while you try to pick a cremated potato out of the embers with a bent stick.
Except that it’s not just one night. The fireworks are on sale, and even though they are not supposed to be sold to kids under 16, kids are resourceful, I know I was. So every night for the next month we will be subject to rockets and screamers and air bombs and all manner of sky bound artillery – and Charlie will dehydrate.
While Toffee is chasing tardy crows into trees, Charlie will be walking by my side. There’s a flash of light in the sky, just a moment before the crack of firework thunder – and Charlie who is 10 inches tall will suddenly appear eyeball to eyeball with me, on the end of a jet of urine, before plopping back down to the ground. I’ve seen him perform this trick eight times in a row when some fiend has set off a complicated multi layered firework.
I’m very happy that light and noise travel at different speeds. I use the fraction of a second between the flash and the bang to move slightly to one side so that I don’t come home covered in wee wee pinstripes.