Monday, November 28, 2011

Why I Celebrate Thanksgiving

 Albino pumpkin

I warn you, I've gone mental. Mental for PUMPKINS. I've had a Thanksgiving pumpkin-filled weekend. It's been amazing.

Mantle Pumpkin 

I've been celebrating Thanksgiving for a while. It all started at uni when I used to live with an American and she made us all do a Thanksgiving dinner and it was a whole heap of fun. And then I went to actual America, and had ACTUAL Thanksgiving, and I was sold. I mean, a four day weekend where you literally do nothing but eat yummy food? I'll repeat that: Four days. Nothing. Yummy. EAT.

Sign me up.

Pie of Pumpkin 

And so I came to wholeheartedly embrace this quintessentially American holiday to my bosom. I have henceforth always taken that Thursday and Friday off of work and plan to continue doing so. But this year was the first year I decided that I would cook a proper authentic Thanky G feast all by myself like a GROWNUP.

Half-Eaten Pumpkin 

On the menu was a turkey, cranberry and cornbread stuffing, sweet potato with marshmallow topping, maple roasted parsnips, green bean casserole all covered in lovely turkey gravy and finished off with a pumpkin pie. I don't think there was anything on that table that didn't come into contact at some point with either maple syrup or cinnamon or both. Yum.

And I'm really impressed with my friends that they didn't run scared by some of the above (yes, that was sweet potato with MARSHMALLOW - which exploded everywhere but that's another story!), they all gave it a go. It was DEE-licious.

Munchkin Pumpkins

And it was lovely to share the feast with good friends, good wine and a good stretchy pair of pants. 

Oh yes, the pre-Christmas diet started again today. I'm already having syrup withdrawal symptoms. Hold me.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Boom Boom Boom. Even Brighter Than The Moon Moon Moon

Baby you're a firework

I love love love firework night! The bonfires, the wrapping up warm, the hot dogs, the drinking, and the fireworks. Ooh sparklers too, I almost forgot those guys.

Neon pink rain 

I find it really weird that fireworks can provoke such emotion in some people, myself included. When you see a really impressive firework display, it's such a spectacle and so dramatic. Usually a crowd of people is involved and the fireworks are there to mark an occasion so you're all there having this shared experience and it's just bloody lovely. I mean, when they let off a couple of rockets at the end of the Milton Keynes Foo Fighters gig in July I lost my shit and actually started blubbing all over my best friend. Possibly a few randoms too. Which now just seems stupid. But THAT is the power of the humble firework.

Burning leaves

But bonfire night marks the point in the year at which all things autumn are in full swing. The bonfire makes the russet and golden leaves on the trees glow so they too seem aflame. The smell of hot dogs and mulled wine is in the air, and you're all bundled up in your warmest scarves and coats, waving your sparklers (or in my case, spinny glowstick thingy) in the air like you just don't care. And the fireworks are the exclamation point to the whole evening. 

All of the lights all of the lights 

I think it's such a shame that so many of the firework displays in London haven't gone ahead this year because the council's can't afford it. Ally Pally and Clapham were cancelled. I love that we have this event in the British calender so I really hope this is just a sign of the economic times and not of the tradition dying out. I mean the American's have the fourth of July, the French have Bastille day, so this is our thing!! We need to keep it alive! With that in mind, I made my way to the other side of town to Battersea Park and I'm really glad I did, the fireworks were epic. I mean, it was super busy, and there were crazy queues for food, but I managed to snarf some hot dogs JUST before the fireworks started. Boom!

Spinner love 

Whilst the fireworks were really impressive, I thought the bonfire was a bit of a let down but then maybe that's because I seem to compare every bonfire to the EPIC BALL OF FLAME I experienced in Ottery St Mary many moons ago. That was like a 20ft beast of a fire that burnt for days, so I guess it's not really fair to have that as the yardstick. Everything's going to fall short.

 Purple rain

I hope there's more displays to choose from next year. I don't want to live in a world where we've forgotten our god-given right to, once a year, burn our (non-toxic) rubbish and let off some highly dangerous chemical explosions in the sky in an ORGANISED MANNER!! This is our tradition! Long may it reign.