A blog about my photos, my artwork, quotations, ideas, collections, passions, England, authors, handwork of all kinds, rusty bits, buffalo, and architectural detail...for starters. And the occasional rant.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Ugly American

I confess, it was I.

It was November 5th in Old Hastings on the South coast and this was the trip where I was only a few months short of a knee replacement so we were using handicapped parking everywhere.  That included our stop at a lovely pub in Old Hastings for our evening meal and a couple of ciders.  The streets in Old Hastings are narrow but we parked on the double yellow, hung the handicapped tag and walked away.  There were some temporary ‘no parking’ signs but it was already after 6:pm and we figured the workers had just forgotten to pick them up.

Typical Old Hastings street.  Postcard dated 1927 but it has hardly changed at all.

We knew it was Guy Fawkes Day, but frankly we expected perhaps to see a bonfire somewhere up on a distant hill at best.  Just as we were thinking of leaving, there was a great racket outside and everybody ran out to the street - as did we.  It was a parade of sorts - men and women in costumes, pushing burning barrels down the narrow street.   The crowd was illuminated in the spooky way only flames can do and everyone was laughing, singing and shouting.

As we were congratulating ourselves for stumbling upon this fun event, the parade slowed and came to a halt.  We couldn’t see what the problem was, but pretty soon they slowly began to move again, very slowly.  You can only watch so many men slowly pushing burning barrels before you are ready to head home to your comfortable B&B so we walked towards our car.

And there it was, the bottleneck.  We looked at each other, pondered stepping out into the street and into the car, and thought better of it.  We felt bad, but not suicidal.  When the parade finally worked past the car and around the corner, the street was suddenly dark and quiet as the roar worked its way down to the beach.  We sauntered casually across the street, looked around, then jumped into the car and left as fast as we could.

I’m still embarrassed, but I feel better now that I have confessed.

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot ;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
'Twas his intent.
To blow up the King and the Parliament.
barrels of powder below.
Poor old
to overthrow.
By God's providence he was catch'd,
With a dark lantern and burning match

Holloa boys, Holloa boys, let the bells ring
Holloa boys, Holloa boys, God save the King!

1 comment:

  1. Exactly what I would have done! Very funny story....