The smoke in the chilly air, the crackle of the fire, the squeal of a nearby rocket, an ambulance siren in the distance – it’s November 5th and Bonfire Night. What’s a Guy to do?
I’m probably not the best person to write a blogpost on Bonfire Night. As an animal lover I’m not overly keen on it as it upsets my dogs a lot. However, I have very distinct memories of Bonfire Nights as a child, when things weren’t as commercialised and Bonfire Night didn’t need to cost hundreds of pounds.
With this in mind…here are my seven top tips for having a whizz-bang Bonfire Night on a budget.
1. Climb Mount Springfield
Take a tip from TVs Homer Simpson. He loves fireworks but doesn’t spend his money on them (he prefers Duff Beer and doughnuts). In ‘The Simpsons’ Homer would take the family to the highest point in Springfield and play firework spotting from there.
Is there a high point in your town where you can enjoy everyone else’s fireworks free of charge?
2. Go chumping
This one takes me back to my youth; jumpers for goal posts, a slight fog in the air and trundling through the woods looking for broken branches. Kids love building a bonfire and chumping (looking for wood to burn) is great fun and free – make sure they don’t get carried away though and start chopping down next door’s conifer!
3. Street bonfire
Is one person on your street ‘Mr Bonfire’? (Who is that Guy?) Has he already got a pile of pallets higher than his house ready to burn on the big night (possibly semi toxic if the pallets are painted blue, so stand down wind).
Maybe you could approach them and join forces? It’s a great way to get to know your neighbours and you can have a street bonfire party where your neighbour gets to show off his twisted firestarter style skills.
You can club together to save money on food and fireworks. Everyone’s a winner!
4. Food fit for a Guy
If you are what you eat, on Bonfire night you’ll be fast, cheap and sloppy. Nobody expects bonfire night food to be any good. Just load up on basic beans, mushy peas and stick some baked potatoes in the burning embers of your bonfire.
Kids love this stuff, and they’ll be full of beans for the rest of the week!
5. Games a Guy would love
You don’t need expensive fireworks to entertain the kids. Eentertain them instead with bobbing for apples. It’s a game that has caused pain and embarrassment to kids going back generations – we’ve all had to do it. Why should kids today get away without doing it?
Only joking, they’ll love it – what child wouldn’t love sticking their head into a freezing barrel full of ice cold water on one of the coldest nights of the year. It’s character building.
6. Go local instead of loco
If you do have to have fireworks and a bonfire have a look around your local area for free organised displays. These are my happiest and most vivid memories of bonfire night and they’re safe even for young children.
On that bombshell!
In all seriousness… make sure you follow The Firework code and make sure the kids learn it too. It’s especially important this year as some members of the Fire Brigade Union may be striking in the run up to Bonfire Night, so be safe and sensible.
And try not to spend too much. When watching a firework you bought doing pretty and noisy things, remember that’s quite literally your money going up in smoke.