November has always been my favourite month (my birthday is in it, enough said), but when I met my best friend and then boyfriend, I was given a whole new reason to enjoy November.
For those who don't know, Bonfire Night (or Guy Fawkes) is the British holiday that celebrates the thwarting of the "gunpowder plot" to blow up the British Parliament in 1605. I was actually first introduced to this night as a kid when I read Kit Pearson's "The Sky Is Falling" (an excellent book for young children to learn about the impact of the second world war - but I digress)
Bonfire night isn't widely celebrated in Canada. Back in 1605 we were still working on the "Pre-Colonial" phase and were essentially a bunch of French-Fur trappers in the wilderness. Because of this there are not many public celebrations. If you get the chance though, try and find a bonfire night celebration, public or private, in your area. I promise you'll have fun!
In the late 1980's when Kris' family emigrated here from Britain, they brought Bonfire Night with them.
On November 1st, we all got together at the family farm to build a bonfire, burn an effigy and light some fireworks!
Of course when we arrived we were met with this:
Typical Canadian fall, can't even wait until December to Snow (I realize that southern Ontario got FAR less than some other regions, but we were planning on spending all night outside and were NOT prepared)
After some hmm-ing and haw-ing about what to do, we decided to wear two pairs of socks, put on the warmest coats available and our furry caps and just have bonfire night anyway! All that was left was to build the guy.
While we waited for it to get dark, we sat out around the fire on the veranda and played with the newest addition to the family, Willow the puppy. Warming ourselves with some red wine and coffee with baileys.
"I don't want to play anymore. Snow is confusing and I'm tired of running!"
When it was deemed dark enough, we headed to the fire pit with a crock pot full of chilly, boots, enough red wine and beer to keep us going and our "ready for Siberia" outfits, ready to light our Guy and have a fun evening.
We were burning old fence posts from around the property that must have been 10 ft high, so before long the snow had melted around the fire and we were nice and toasty!
Once the Guy was burned, it was time for the fireworks to begin! Kris, his dad and their two little helpers put on quite a show.
Even though it was wickedly cold, we had an excellent night. Who cares about a little snow when you have a 15 foot blaze?