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‘Tis the bonfire season hereabouts. I’m sure I’ve told you in years past, East Sussex doesn’t simply observe the Fifth of November; there’s a bonfire celebration somewhere in the county from late September through early December. That’s because East Sussex was particularly hard done by during the Marian persecutions (proximity to the Continent and free flow of new ideas is my theory).

It also means all the costumed bonfire societies can march in each other’s processions for weeks and weeks.

Most of the villages defer to the town of Lewes on the actual Fifth. They have the biggest procession, on account of they had the most Protestants burned at the stake. Seventeen of them.

Yes, it’s mostly fun and games these days, but I sense a surprisingly hard knot of anti-Catholicism in Britain still and it peaks out during the bonfire season.

We had a local celebration over the weekend and we’ll have another next weekend. Small, informal, neighborly things.

Pictured is the fire bowl from Saturday. I think we’d like to get one. We have a chimenea (and an incinerator), but it’s not the same as open fire, is it? Anyone have experience of these? Are they hard to maintain? Do the legs get super hot?


Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: November 6, 2017, 10:27 pm

Round hoplite shield on 3 or 4 legs sort of thing?

Hard to maintain?
Just don’t park it anywhere near flammable items, like the eaves, or any plants you’re fond of.
And the ground under it would be happy for a stone lining or a gravel footing.
Otherwise it’s just shovel the ashes out every once in a bit.
Unless you have sparky wood, then you will want a screen, especially if you have a thatch roof! (that’s not a problem here of course since they outlawed cedar shakes in the city).

Legs get hot?
Hells yes, but not “super” hot.
You still want it on something that doesn’t burn, but I worry more about the radiant heat off the bottom of the basin than the heat that conducts down the legs.
As you can guess, you should probably back off a bit if the basin metal starts to glow!

But they’re nice on a cool night when the breezes are low, and better than the chimenea.

and if you enjoy cooking over coals, neato.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: November 6, 2017, 10:44 pm

Got one too. Here they come packaged with a screen when you buy them, and if you live somewhere that is flammible that is automatically a good idea. We had ours out in the front yard this Halloween because we had set up our Gypsy wagon [probably not PC in Britain as I understand that they are “travellers” and above the law for all practical purposes] as a Gypsy camp to give out candy. Fire bowl made a handy campfire. A handy thing, if you can get them over there, are the covers for the Weber kettle grills. They fit and can go over the top of the fire and smother the fire safely.

By the way, we had a number of offers from parents to “sell the children to the Gypsys”.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: November 6, 2017, 11:01 pm

@Subotai Bahadur – Heh! If the parents were that motivated to unload their bratty kids, they should have been offering money, not asking for payment! (-:

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: November 6, 2017, 11:12 pm

Interesting Leeds article. Surprised that there was a “controversy” from a Zulu dance troop about blackface and “skulls & bones” decorations on costumes: “skulls and horns make us look barbaric, the Zulu costume can be worn without them.”
Do something long enough and somebody, usually a newcomer, is going to be offended.
Good pictures though.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: November 7, 2017, 12:50 am

I was always told they would steal us (without cash being exchanged).

I used to tell mine I’d sell them to the Mesopotamians.

Comment from OldFert
Time: November 7, 2017, 1:22 am

There seems to be a surprisingly hard knot of anti-Catholicism in the Senate, too, at least as far as confirming judges is concerned.

Legs get hot? Well, they do sometimes, but I’ll just kick the covers off. Unfortunately then I’ll get cold and have to get up and go to the bathroom.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: November 7, 2017, 4:53 am

17 over 500 years ago and you’re still whining about it?!

Henry VIII killed 72k
Edward VI killed 5,500
Mary I killed 284

But it’s always Bloody Mary and never Bloody Hank and his blood kid, Ted. Harumpf!

Comment from Pupster
Time: November 7, 2017, 9:19 am

We love our fire kettle, it has started to rust after 2 seasons.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: November 7, 2017, 3:01 pm

OT: a short, funny story for cat lovers: http://beneaththerainbow.com/human-holidaze/ Leave comments there if you get a chance!

Oh, and I had never heard of Guy Fawkes until I read John Dickson Carr’s classic impossible crime novel, The Three Coffins, when I was 14. Apparently the unlucky gentleman’s last name is pronounced like the word “fox”?

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: November 7, 2017, 3:30 pm

I never heard of Guy Fawkes until I saw the Ipcress File as a child. One, I thought they were looking for a filing cabinet but didnt understand why, and two, was puzzled that they celebrated the 4th of July in the UK and in Nov.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: November 7, 2017, 3:50 pm

I had British co-workers back in Boston in the 80’s who would occasionally lament “Come back Guy Fawkes! All is forgiven!”.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: November 7, 2017, 11:25 pm

Since stoaty and Uncle B already live in a house that resembles the witch’s cottage in Hansel & Gretel, a burning cauldorn would be a nice touch.

Comment from xul’s fedora
Time: November 7, 2017, 11:45 pm

The closest thing I have to that is my $10 kettle style Weber grill. And the legs do get hot. 😉

Comment from Pupster
Time: November 8, 2017, 2:10 am

I didn’t know anything about The 5th of November bonfire thingy until Stoaty put me to some knowledge after she moved there. Expanding my horizons and all that.

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