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pagan pleasures

November 5, 2009

This evening we went to a simple but lovely bonfire party at a friend’s house. A ‘papist’ plot to blow up king and parliament four hundred years ago may be the excuse for bonfire night, but it’s pretty obvious that the urge to fight the encroaching darkness of winter with fire must be as old as humankind. Certainly my husband, a Catholic and a descendant of James VI, enjoys bonfire night as much as the next man! Huddling by the fire of fallen beech branches, with hot glowing faces and freezing damp feet, eating sausages and watching the sparks fly up into the starry sky, one has a barely conscious sense of sharing an experience with countless generations back into the dark of human history.

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