Friday, 16 November 2012

Bonfire Night

Last week, my flatmates and I decided to host a very last-minute bonfire night get-together. As it fell on a Monday this year, I was off work on the day of the party and took it upon myself to get things together and make it a little bit more special than just a fire at the end of the garden. I come into my element when you label something as an event, and there were a few things I was adamant our guests should be provided (and delighted) with: toffee apples and hot, mulled cider (click-through for recipes); marshmallows on sticks; baked bananas oozing the darkest, richest chocolate; and sparklers.

The pumpkin lantern and fireside snacks.

Of course, if I'm going to have guests I'm going to spruce the place up a little. The fire was at the end of our rather long garden, so I studded the path with tealights in glass jars to light the way, finishing with a pair of lights in the archway through to the bonfire, where a pumpkin flickered next to dishes of sweet treats. We banked the fire up, watched it fizzle, roar into life and then die right down again all before our guests arrived. Luckily we coaxed a bit more life out of it and soon the air was filled by the snaps and warmth of a good bonfire, and the chatter of friends. I ladled out the hot, fragrant cider and someone came clutching a bag of corn for popping, so we covered it in a pan nestled in the brightly burning embers.

Poaching a view of someone else's fireworks.

Fireworks lit up the sky, mainly courtesy of our neighbours or a local display, we didn't know which. A guest also arrived with a small box which, when let off, fizzed upwards into the night as we gazed upwards. I doled out the sparklers and we did the usual: circles, lovehearts and furious attempts to write our names so that the letters all hung in the air at once.

"Kitt" - just one letter shy of managing to write my name with a sparkler.

The big, organised displays can be impressive but this girl is a convert: a back-garden get-together with hot booze and idle chat can be even better.

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