Bonfire night can last for 2 weeks!
Remember remember the 5th November... Well down here in Eastbourne it is more like Remember remember the 1st, 2nd, 3rd... 5th... 8th... 11th... and 14th November!
There wasn't one night that didn't sound like the 21 gun salute going off in our back garden.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Bonfire Night, and I can ooh and aah like the best of them at the fireworks. But does it have to go on for 2 weeks?
Fire and tempest
Even the appalling wind and rain doesn't seem to dampen the celebrations. As a result, my youngest son hasn't slept in weeks. He's either kept up by the howling gales and torrential rain or by the bangs of a thousand fireworks being set off.
The other night when I went up to check on him at the dead of night, I couldn't actually find him. In a blind panic I rushed into every bathroom and bedroom but still no sign. I yelled for my husband, who reluctantly put down his glass of wine and joined in the hunt. To my husband's irritation, we found him actually in his bed, but he was curled up in a very tight ball buried like a dormouse under his pile of soft toys at the foot of his bed.
When he woke the next day, he explained that after shouting at the rain and the fireworks to shut up for the 5th night in a row, he decided to take matters into his own hands and use his myriad of soft toys as ear defenders. Clever boy.
Fireworks can be good family fun
The school every year does an amazing bonfire and firework display. It's one of the best events of the year for the boys. They get to stay up late, run around in the dark trying to kill each other and watch things being burnt and blown up. And the adults get to drink a lot of beer and mulled wine. So it's a win win all round.
So it was with some trepidation that I had to tell the family that we weren't going this year. There was quite a bit of shouting and stamping of feet, but once my husband had calmed down I explained that instead we were going to stay at a friends' house and I'm sure we could rustle up a sparkler and a Catherine Wheel for him.
Alternative celebrations at Lewes
One year we need to pluck up the courage to go to the Bonfire Night celebrations at Lewes. It's not your average firework display - it's more of a pagan ritual involving burning effigies, flaming stakes and frightening costumes. When one Lewes resident says "It's not a carnival and it's not a jolly" you know it's not probably for kids. However one year some friends of ours ignored the warnings and took their children. They've never gone to a Bonfire Night again.
I hope you all enjoyed your Bonfire Night celebrations - but if you are near us, it's time to bring the celebrations to an end and try to keep the noise down.
Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director