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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?

November 6, 2017 — 9:35 pm
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