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Published: November 17th 2020
When I woke up in late March and heard about lockdown and Covid I never for one minute imagined that I would be here in November still writing about the same old thing . It it felt like groundhog day months ago I have little idea how to describe this the 1st day of a new month . I feel like Janus the god that January is named after looking backward to the start of all of this and looking forward to it ending . Sadly looking back feels a pointless exercise . 2020 has been a washout . Cancelled holidays . Home working . Motorhome sales going through the roof and no places to stay . Looking forward - Bonfire Night is on the horizon. That night or few days before and after the night we celebrate the unsuccesful blowing up of parliament when the bangers go off striking horror into the heart of dog owners . Rockets light up the sky . Bonfire night is going to be different this year .
Wales is on the verge of coming out of lockdown . Just closed long enough for Bonfire night to pass unmentioned and not celebrated . A
ban on gatherings mean no bonfire parties . No organised events . England follow suit by closing down just to time to stop anyone having a party on that night and inventing all the friends and neighbours around . I am into my last few days of swimming. Back to tramping the streets of the village . This time though the skies are dark and I cannot set out so early . I am lucky even with the clocks changing to get out much before 7.15. Every day is the same . Same old grey sky. Not one cloud up there but a mass that turns the entire sky leaden . The clouds are heavy with rain . If it doesnt rain it is a miracle . Our small isle is being hugged out in the English channel by a low front that brings in inclement weather . Cold , dull , miserable , rain , drizzle - that is November for you . A nothing sort of month with nothing to do . The gardens are sodden. The grass too wet to give a final cut . Too early for Christmas parties or christmas decorations . That bit in between Autumn with its golden mellowness and bleak and cold winter .
My walk takes me round the pavements of the village . The farmers have ploughed their fields . What remains are ruts filled with water . The streams are full . The grass too wet to walk on . I would sink deep in the mud . Shoes become heavy with layer and layer or mud and a thickness of wet leaves . There is little colour to November . The red of the holly and the pale lime green of the ivy . A splash of yellow from out of season flowers but very little to catch my eye as I pound the streets . Gardens look lacklustre . My thoughts go to bonfires . We collected wood late October and cardboard boxes to make a bonfire . Mum bought a packet of sparklers . 6d old money - 2 and a half pence new money , We would go out as soon as it got dark and dad would hand me a sparkler, light it carefully and for a few moments it would lighten up the garden with the colours of the rainbow . Mum always bought a selection box of fireworks . She took out the bangers . She hated them . Earlier in the day dad had pinned the Catherine Wheels to the shed with tiny nails . He placed glass milk bottles in the ground . After the sparklers he carefully lit the blue touch paper of a rocket . It took off skywards and erupted into a sparkle of lights . There were perhaps a couple of rockets in the box . He lit the other one before moving on the Roman candles which had been partially buried in the earth . They too erupted in the colours of the rainbow . Lastly and I knew we were coming to the end of the box he lit the Catherine Wheels . Round and round they went . If I were lucky I would go up to my bedroom , open the curtains and watch others lighting their fires and setting their fireworks off . I wondered as I walked what kids of today would think of the 6d bag of sparklers and the small back yard display .
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