Remember, Remember the 5th of November
I’ve been a bit quiet, I know I said in my last post that I was hoping to write a bit more and I again promise that. Sometimes just getting the time to sit down and write knowing that these things take longer than you think. Just a quick 30 minutes writing on the blog can suddenly end up being 2 hours before you know it.
Over the past few weeks Autumn has taken hold and you can feel the approaching Winter. To steal a phrase ‘Winter is Coming’ I’m not a big fan of Halloween. In the past 10 or 15 years the American tradition of Trick or Treating has flown the channel and to me just feels wrong. To me the British Part of Halloween is Apple Bobbing and the odd spooky story. The start of Winter to me is Bonfire Night where we commemorate Guy Fawkes failed (but only Just) attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. The influx of Halloween has in some places diminished this traditional British celebration. Last year I spoke to an American friend who thought that Guy Fawkes was just a creation of the V for Vendetta film and Graphic novel. I was surprised but the I realised unless you are told these things in school and remember Penny for the Guy at school why would I expect someone from Another country to have intimate knowledge of our traditions and history?
There are many traditions associated with Guy Fawkes from ‘Penny for the Guy’ when a effigy of Guy Fawkes that is made and Children you to ask for a ‘Penny’. The Guy that sits atop the bonfire is very important. One of the most famous celebrations of the 5th of November is in Lewes (East Sussex). The Bonfire traditions there include the tradition of the 17 burning Martyr’s. You can read about the traditions HERE
I remember as a child the torchlight procession that we followed before we watched the huge bonfire and fireworks. Nowadays due to Mrs ROE being ill we do not go to a display but in our own small way we participate with Vegan Hotdogs, Chocolate Apples and a Bonfire Apple crumble we open the blinds so we can see the fireworks that appear in the sky throughout. Obviously we make sure there is noise enough that are animals do not get disturbed by the sights and sounds. Though one of our cats actually likes fireworks and will happily sit at the window watching then go off for hours
So what has any of this to do with my running, well actually nothing other than to me it marks the start of Winter running and I like Winter running (well most of the time). So more specific running post to appear in the next few days but I will leave you with the famous playground poem that I remember having to recite at school. This is the full traditional version we did recite the whole thing when I was school (which reading it I doubt that would happen now) and the Anti Catholic sentiment is the context in which this was written and as a Roman Catholic myself I do feel uncomfortable with some of it but understand the history. Nowadays I can’t actually remember the last time I heard the full poem quoted (with the 5th verse) out aloud as it’s normally just the first verse or missing the fifth. No offense is meant but I wanted to include the full poem
English Folk Verse (c.1870)
The Fifth of November
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
Guy Fawkes and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England’s overthrow.
But, by God’s providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James’s sake!
If you won’t give me one,
I’ll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn’orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!