Sunday, 4 November 2012

Fire

I love fire. Who doesn't? We had a wonderful one last night. In case you think I am an arsonist, may I point out it was a bonfire in the garden in honour of the forthcoming fifth of November.

When I was growing up, we had a bonfire with a guy, although we would not have been allowed to drag it round the streets requesting pennies for it. Not that I wanted to - it always struck me as a peculiar thing to do. (Especially when the guy is question was sub-standard - a bit like claiming that shouting one line of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and knocking on someone's door constitutes carol singing. Standards!) We also had potatoes cooked in the fire (although these were disappointingly hard and tasted of ash) fireworks let off at a sensible distance by An Adult - and best of all, sparklers! Nothing to beat tracing your name in the air with a sparkler when you can hardly move your arm for the layers of clothes you were wearing. One year, I took hold of the wrong end of a sparkler and by Jiminy, that hurt. (I told you about the accident rate.)

This isn't ours, but I thought you
might like to be reminded
of what a fire looks like
We didn't have a guy last night (does anyone, these days?) but we did have fireworks, courtesy of a neighbour who thoughtfully let them off in his garden, to be admired by those of us sitting round the fire, before taking his place with us. We talked of books and new ventures but mostly looked at the flames and the embers. We went to bed with it still burning (no need to alert the authorities, all was made safe) and it was still smoking this frosty morning.

Here's dear old Arthur Brown. Those were the days. I love reading Wikipedia's po-faced descriptions of songs. Allow me to quote from the entry for this one "The song ends with the sound of a wind from hell." Really?

And here is Josef Locke, with an excellent example of maintaining-sang-froid-whilst-forgetting-one's-words-on-live-television. I suspect the Guinness was one of many...

Thanks for popping in. The salon is now open...





28 comments:

  1. We plan a bonfire - weather permitting - for tomorrow, your actual 5th November. If we're talking Standards, I should prefer not to be assailed by firework noises from October through to February. Once I'm in charge, I shall have them restricted to 5th November, Diwali and - at a push - New Year's Eve. I'm aware that this may make me unpopular as a ruler, but dictatorship is not a popularity contest.

    Completely with you on the "carol singing", mind. And I discovered an alarming level to my obsessive word-coaching over the course of last Wednesday evening, Halloween.

    As the masked and costumed children (yup, don't get me started on that) knocked on the door and chanted "trick or treat" as a 'oner', without any meaningful intonation or interpretation, I had to work very hard not to give doorstep workshops on the antithetical nature of the choice being offered between a good thing and a bad thing, and the need therefore to make that difference clear to your listener as you say it, as well as the fact that there is a decision to be made; there are competing offers on the table, so to speak, and that thought needs to be revealed in appropriate use of the vocal instrument.

    Think I'll take my pills now...
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. May it please Your Greatness - perhaps we could extend "5th November" to the nearest weekend? I humbly submit my plea in the full knowledge that you have already ruled on this subject and I hesitate to even imply that I would question your decision, or indeed, your right to make it, but this year f'rinstance, I shall be teaching on the evening of the 5th November and were your ruling to be in place, I would have missed (crumbs, getting my tenses muddled here) my fireworks. *eyes brimming with tears*. And I've just realised the Standards link! (sings) Light up the sky with STANDards FIREworks...
    I'm so pleased you managed to hold yourself back with the trick or treaters, although my sympathies are with you x

    ReplyDelete
  3. oops - might have been STANDard FIREworks...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Harumph... grudging concessions may be made upon receipt of appropriate tithings.
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nope, no concessions at all. Periodically the 5th November will in any case fall on weekends and then even those who have to work Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri evenings will be able to enjoy them legally. Otherwise, tough.

    I may allow them on Diwali but not on New Year's Eve. This is a foreign custom, snuck in from Europe, and to be deplored.

    I loved Arthur Brown, never heard of him, and will send the link tomorrow to the Male Hedgehog as a Guy Fawkes Greeting. I feel he will appreciate him

    Did you notice the fair-haired, prim-faced lady sitting in the middle of the row behind the piano? I feel sure it was a disapproving Mrs Locke....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am confident the Male Hedgehog will be fully conversant with the Crazy World of Arthur Brown...I did not notice P-FL - will look again.
      And I choose butterfly as my dictator.

      Delete
    2. Nope, new to Male Hedgehog.

      oc - a)not born yet
      b) year russians invaded

      so probably passed the Eastern bloc vorbei

      Delete
    3. I'll buy the Russian invasion as a reason, but I hadn't been born either and I'm fully conversant with the CW of AB...

      Delete
  6. Um... hello... who made you Queen? That's my job... and may I just say that condemning European customs is a bit rich in one who not only had us putting out clogs for Sinta Klaas for the 6th December for our entire childhoods, but also celebrates Advent Sunday with Christmas list writing, the 24th December as a day of festivities, and bakes Christmas stollens.

    I rest my case, m'lud - except I'm Queen so have no need to plead, of course...
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. Replies
    1. We dictators don't have time for petty spelling disputes...

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. This is a benevolent dictatorship... pulling out of fingernails should suffice, I think, upon this occasion.

      Delete
    2. Might I point out that for a spelling and grammar guru to suddenly reject the notion of correct spelling is perverse in the extreme. And for an even more pedantic spelling and grammar guru to support such a dereliction of duty is even more perverse.

      And if you pull out my fingernails you will have to do ALL the work on the dollshouses.

      Delete
  9. Oh, and I agree about gingham!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Salonistas, two small things: 1. If Heeley WomenWritersintheCity are successful in their proposal to be part of next year's Sheffield Poetry Festival, I will be using the Josef Locke video as part of a briefing on performance skills. 2. Don't you think "Setting Fire to The Gingham" would be a great title for an album of radical feminist country songs?

      Delete
    2. Oh yes, brilliant title. Could also be the title of an article on disposing of British primary schools summer uniforms.....

      Delete
    3. Nell - 1) excellent and 2) yes!

      Delete
  10. I am returning to Mondegreens(Last night I dreamt I went to Mondegreen again...Actually, last night I dreamt I was on my way to audition to be in Swan Lake...I kept telling anyone who would listen that I was a)not a ballet dancer, b)way too old but was simply hussled along to the audition. Paul Weller was also in the dream, though not, at least by the time I awoke, wearing a leotard, tights or tutu)Anyway, I digress, I digress. Something about Mondegreens was worming away in my brain and when I was just fettling in my iTunes library, constructing a playlist, I realised what it was. I have a song in my library called Mondegreen! It is by a band called Yeasayer. I think links don't woirk here in the salon, but here one is anyway and if not just Googletube
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wlMh9WOgMM



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am reading a book set in New York and it has clearly affected my typing accent. I just spotted "woirk" winging past me.

      Delete
    2. Well how splendid - I shall hasten to it.. And spookily, as I read your post, the music from Swan Lake was in my ears - literally- it's on Radio 3 at the moment.

      Delete
    3. I hastened to it but sadly could not make out a single word :-( Or is that the point of it?

      Delete
    4. I am afraid that is often the problem with popular beat combos, your Honour. In this case, I believe the confusion is indeed intentional.

      Delete