Bonfire Night

As a child i used to loathe bonfire night - all those loud noises and bits of fire flying through the air used to make me panic and give me nightmares. In more recent years i've become more of a fan, learning to appreciate it as a uniquely British tradition with a fascinating history, and even developing a fondness for that cosy autumnal feeling of gathering around a bonfire with your local community.

Cairnbulg bonfire, Nov 3rd.

This year, bonfire night and i have had a bit of a love/hate relationship. A display i attended on Friday night saw its fireworks rain back down on the audience (not sure whether our proximity, the quality of fireworks, or the lack of wind were to blame), exactly like my childhood nightmares, and sent me into blind panic; and then when flares were launched towards the audience (shooting into the wind makes sense if you're lost at sea; not when you're perfectly safe and beside a rather large fire) at Cairnbulg on Saturday night, they just about tipped me over the edge.

So, it was with extreme trepidation that i agreed to join some Salvation Army friends at the firework display on Aberdeen beach on Monday night..

But y'know what? They were really good. Like really good.

We realised before the fireworks had even started that we are like little country bumpkins by comparison (i couldn't get my head around the sheer volume of people standing in the middle of a normally-busy road) and i'm not sure i've ever properly seen a firework display on that scale, especially not one set to music.

They were super pretty and i really enjoyed the way they worked with the James Bond themes.

And best of all, they didn't feel the need to launch themselves back into the crowd!

We finished off the night with a cup of hot chocolate and some cake back at the Citadel on Castlegate (it would have been rude not to) and so lived to tell the tale, slightly battle weary, but finishing another bonfire night on fairly decent terms.

It was a close call, fireworks, but we can still be friends for now!

As an aside, i had one of those strange moments at the Aberdeen display where you spy, in real life, someone whose blog you regularly read. Sarah of Sarah Rooftops was stood just to the left of me (and then just behind) for the whole display, but despite my best efforts i couldn't pluck up the courage to say hi. Sad times. You can read her post about the event here.

Post a Comment


  1. Thank you so much for posting those photos, Laura! I would have loved to go, but as you know my poor daughter isn't up to it and so I stayed home with her. I once was at an Easter service in Greece and in the celebrations afterwards, a firework went through my hair just above my shoulder, so I too have a healthy respect for them.

    Maybe Sarah Rooftops was feeling just as shy about you!

  2. I wish I'd spotted you!

    And how amazing were those crowds? Every year I just stand there staring at all the people walking down the Boulevard towards me like some sort of weird zombie movie; I don't think I'll ever get used to them!

    1. i wish i'd been bold enough to say hi, but i did at least spare you my awkward attempts at conversation!

      Those crowds are crazzzy. We had a somewhat eerie moment where we had to walk back up the road mid-display to meet a friend, while everyone else stood frozen and staring in the opposite direction. It gave me the heebie-jeebies!


  3. Awesome photos Laura. I avoid fireworks unless they are at the other side of a river. The best one I saw was in Edinburgh, we were staying in a caravan on the opposite of the Forth!! Not November, end of the festival.