Our Fourth Annual Bonfire Night Party

Our Fourth Annual Bonfire Night Party

We first held a Bonfire Night party at our house before we extended it, and still had our tiny old kitchen and 80s decor. On the plus side, when guests ground pumpkin cake into the carpet it couldn’t matter less; on the downside, trying to feed 40-odd people from a kitchen the size of my shoe was somewhat of a challenge. I seem to recall providing soup that people drunk from random assorted mugs, and a big tureen of chilli that could only be served by implementing a strict one in, one out policy in the kitchen.

 Two permanent raised beds plus one temporary fire pit.

Two permanent raised beds plus one temporary fire pit.

 Toddler quality control in progress.

Toddler quality control in progress.

 The girls drew faces on their pumpkins, and my husband carved them. I hate carving pumpkins cos it makes your hands go all gross and slimey. Thanks for taking one for the team, husband.

The girls drew faces on their pumpkins, and my husband carved them. I hate carving pumpkins cos it makes your hands go all gross and slimey. Thanks for taking one for the team, husband.

Our second party was held in the new extension but before the new kitchen went in - also known as the party where I managed just in time to prevent people from lobbing the garden fence onto the bonfire (ooh can we burn these? well, that’s our fence panelling, so ideally not) but we did set fire to an old chopping board after running out of wood to burn.

 I decorated the house with yellow cherry leaves and branches from the garden.

I decorated the house with yellow cherry leaves and branches from the garden.

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 I customised our leaf-shaped handmade wedding bunting by adding leaves from the garden.

I customised our leaf-shaped handmade wedding bunting by adding leaves from the garden.

And then for last year’s party we finally had our new kitchen-party-house set-up, which our 84 guests effortlessly coated in mud (it was wet outside and the small rug we had provided for wiping feet just didn’t cut the mustard). Hosting this many people in our house was absolutely hilarious at the time but the clean-up was grim.

 We are ready! Our middle daughter was in charge of the light box message, she’s a good safety conscious girl. The sign in the background beseeches people to place their plates and cutlery in the dishwasher rather than abandoning them on random surfaces (we use our own crockery and utensils rather than plastic/cardboard as it helps to counteract the massively unsustainable effect of the fireworks!).

We are ready! Our middle daughter was in charge of the light box message, she’s a good safety conscious girl. The sign in the background beseeches people to place their plates and cutlery in the dishwasher rather than abandoning them on random surfaces (we use our own crockery and utensils rather than plastic/cardboard as it helps to counteract the massively unsustainable effect of the fireworks!).

 Disco lights in the living room, post-modern fire on the TV, Italian linen couches swathed in multiple protective layers.

Disco lights in the living room, post-modern fire on the TV, Italian linen couches swathed in multiple protective layers.

This year’s party was our best effort yet - fewer people; more printed signs telling people where to put their coats and their green waste. Pot luck curry, sausages on the braai, chilli, goulash, Asian rice salad, chicken and mushroom casserole, roast vegetables, naan bread, pumpkin cake, carrot cake, leftover Halloween candy.

 A house full of lovely people eating lovely food.

A house full of lovely people eating lovely food.

Lovely little squibby fireworks called things like Crystal Fountain or Silver Rain, big exciting rockets, a rainbow-flamed bonfire, and lots and lots of sparklers. Followed by a living room disco to 90s trance music, natch.

 I think we were bouncing around to Faithless ‘Insomnia’ at this point.

I think we were bouncing around to Faithless ‘Insomnia’ at this point.

 Toasting marshmallows on extendable forks.

Toasting marshmallows on extendable forks.

 Blue and green magical flames.

Blue and green magical flames.

 My favourite outdoor fairy lights in our olive trees, plus a Christmas tree from a couple of years back.

My favourite outdoor fairy lights in our olive trees, plus a Christmas tree from a couple of years back.

 Gin and sparklers.

Gin and sparklers.

 Lots of the people we like most around a bonfire.

Lots of the people we like most around a bonfire.

Andre and our friend Bridget are in charge of fireworks, and they take their role very seriously. Next year, to up the game, we’ve requested double fireworks to a sound track of some kind. Bring it, guys.

 Lighting…

Lighting…

 Walking away like a boss while it’s all going off behind you.

Walking away like a boss while it’s all going off behind you.

 I love little spluttery fireworks so much.

I love little spluttery fireworks so much.

 Whoosh!

Whoosh!

 Who’s loving it more, the kids or the adults?

Who’s loving it more, the kids or the adults?

My favourite thing about Bonfire Night is definitely the sparklers. Our friend Jeremy took this picture.

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And that’s a wrap for Bonfire Night 2018. Well, apart from a little bit of clean-up the next day, of course.

 What a good, helpful furry boy.

What a good, helpful furry boy.