Penny for the Guy? (‘Life’s a Journey’ nostalgia Link-Up, week 82)

This post is part of a weekly series of ‘link-up’ Posts which reflect on life’s journey, old memories and family stories (see below for more info).


I make no apologies for being predictable this week. This is the season which is home to one of the most vivid memories I have from my childhood. I suspect its memory has endured because it was, and still remains such a ritual in the lives of British families. Of what do I speak? Bonfire Night, of course.

family stories

Over the generations, of course, the rituals have evolved. Gone are the days of stealing nan’s old tights to unceremoniously stuff the crotch with newspaper. Dad’s old mackintosh in the shed no longer mysteriously disappears, only to turn up later on a flaccid effigy of ‘Guy’ (Fawkes) at the moment the blue touchpaper is lit on the bonfire. No cranky old wheelbarrows or knocking doors and begging *clears throat in belated recognition of why parents didn’t approve of this passtime* for ‘a penny for the Guy’.

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Strangely, it is not the fireworks which I recall with most fondness (probably because they were a bit shit), nor is it the fire itself. My memories of this seminal piece of my childhood are as follows:-

1. The jacket potatoes, wrapped in tin foil and reliably lost somewhere in the bowels of the fire. Later retrieved from the embers, penetrated by charcoal and mouth blisteringly hot.

2. Writing my name across the inky blackness with a Sparkler

3. The smell of the smoke on my clothes the next day

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I hope to Fawkes that my kids get the rush which I just felt when they sit and remember their own 5th of Novembers in the years to come.

Link up your own seasonal memories! What are the bonfire night rituals you shared with your own families all those years ago? How have they changed now that you are a parent? Use your blog to create your own post, or simply share your memories in the comments. We’re here for a while, so no rush!!

family stories

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More about the Life’s a Journey weekly memories series.

A selection of other posts from this series:-

FIrst day of school memories family stories

Week 2 – Old School Portrait

family stories best friends

Week 4 – Bestest Friends

family stories teenage crush

Week 5 – Teenage Crushes

family stories grease movie

Week 6 – First Movie Memories

family stories cinderella

Week 9 – Favourite Childhood Books

family stories

Week 19 – Becoming a Parent

family stories

Week 25 – Old Boyfriends

2 responses to “Penny for the Guy? (‘Life’s a Journey’ nostalgia Link-Up, week 82)

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