Ooooh. Aaaah. Eeeee. Don’t worry, I’ve not pulled my ageing back. That is, in fact, me reliving Bonfire Night from the other week. One of my favourite nights of the year, is there anything better than marvelling at the colours, shapes and sounds in the sky as people literally blow (up) their money.
Let’s go on a little wander down memory lane. As a kid, I remember Bonfire Night quite vividly. When we lived at our first house (<10 years old), I remember my folks putting on firework displays themselves. It was nothing big – just a few small fireworks, some Catherine wheels and the odd sparkler with family and friends. I remember it being an event and one that I thoroughly enjoyed – although I doubt the organisers of the London New Year’s Eve firework display will be losing much sleep.
I don’t recall having any fireworks at my folks’ current house though. Maybe there wasn’t as much room, or maybe my dad finally decided it was too much hassle to risk losing an arm each year. Either way, we instead began going to bigger displays. Again, nothing on the scale of what you see these days, more local village pub type setups. I also remember that we used to sometimes just drive around the local villages in order to see multiple displays on the same night. Talk about money-saving.
As such, I’ve always had fond memories of Bonfire Night. But, as what usually happens when you grow up, I moved out and my folks stopped taking me to see the fireworks – funny, that. Bonfire Night just became one of those times when you briefly consider going out, but then decide that it’s too cold and you hate crowds. Plus, if you’re really sneaky, you can probably see some free ones outside of your bedroom window anyway.
As every parent knows though, this changes when you have kids. You begin to see the world through their eyes and long to give them new, exciting and fun experiences. After going probably a decade without doing anything on Bonfire Night, last year saw us head to a local display for Toddler L’s benefit. This was her first firework experience, but since then, she’s become somewhat of a connoisseur having seen the fireworks championships at Blackpool, the 25th anniversary celebrations at Disneyland Paris and the magical Christmas event at Drayton Manor.
Toddler L may still be a bit too young to remember events like this in the future, but she’s old enough to understand, participate and get enjoyment out of the here and now. Plus, as a blogger, no family moment ever goes uncaptured on my phone. Similarly to making a concerted effort with Halloween, this year we wanted to do something a bit bigger and better when it came to Bonfire Night.
So, on Saturday 4th November, we headed down to Cassiobury Park in Watford. This was actually a free (but donations welcome!) shindig organised by Watford Borough Council with support from Vibe 107.6FM who were on stage. There were bands, food stalls, funfair rides, portaloos in need of lights and the all important bonfire and fireworks.
I don’t know what it is about the lack of bonfires these days, but for me, they’re as important as the fireworks. It’s health and safety gone mad, I tell thee. We rocked up just before 7pm and saw the bonfire set ablaze. It was huge, didn’t take much time to light up the sky and the smell instantly took me back to Bonfire Nights of the past.
The firework display started at around 7.30pm. The place was rammed, so Toddler L – who was getting a bit tired at this point – spent the next half an hour being switched between our shoulders. The fireworks lasted for around 20 minutes and it was a really impressive display. It’s difficult to describe fireworks because fireworks are just fireworks (!), but they had plenty of variation, some proper massive ones and a great finale.
Either way, there were no complaints from any of us – well apart from having a weighty Toddler on our shoulders. The sprog was engrossed throughout and gave us a running commentary of the various colours on display. Although, she did also let us know repeatedly that she didn’t really like the “big bang ones”. I’m pleased we went that extra mile (or fifteen to be precise) to go to a proper display and the look on Toddler L’s face was well worth it.
That wasn’t the end of our Bonfire Night fun though – oh, no. The missus had picked up some sparklers which we planned to crack open on the Sunday once it had turned dark outside. I know sparklers can divide opinion, but she was fully supervised, we explained the danger and gave her clear instructions on what to do. She was mesmerised by the light, enjoyed waving it around at arm’s length and loved looking at the photos afterwards to see what patterns she’d created.
Sparklers. Because it’s totally fine to give your kid something that reaches 1,600°C in the name of fun as long as you only do it on 5th Nov. . . . . . . #ukdadbloggers #ukparentbloggers #bonfire #bonfirenight #bonfirenight2017 #firework #fireworks #fireworkshow #fireworkdisplay #sparklers #sparklers💥 #5thnovember #5thnov #rememberrememberthe5thofnovember #toddlerlife #toddlerfun #myfamilyadventures #dailyparenting
Talking about photos, I’m continuing to work with HP on their #ReinventMemories campaign, which is all about transforming digital moments into tangible memories. You may remember from the Halloween post I mentioned above, that I’m making more of an effort to get photos off the cloud and around our house to enjoy. All too often, we take a photo, then simply forget about it.
However, with the help of our new HP ENVY Photo 7830 Wireless All-in-One Printer and the HP Instant Ink service, I’ve discovered that it takes very little effort to print out photos and do something with them. In the few short weeks we’ve had the printer, I’ve updated some photo frames around the house and even started (a rudimentary form of) scrapbooking so that we have a physical collection to help remember some of the bigger things we get up to as a family.
What did you get up to this Bonfire Night? How have you found events such as Bonfire Night have changed since having kids? How do you capture and remember things you do as a family? Let me know below!
Disclosure: This is a commissioned post in collaboration with HP. We were also sent the printer and have a 6-month Instant Ink subscription as part of the #ReinventMemories campaign.