He didn't get where he is today by stealing somebody else's catchphrase.


It's that time of the year again, where children come around and ask for money for a guy they're going to burn. We do some strange stuff in this country, we really do.

This evening, like most people, I went to a local organised display. It was the usual affair - a big bonfire, 15 minutes of "ooohs" and "aaaaahs", and candy-floss and hot-dogs if you felt brave enough to try the mechanically-salvaged meat "fast-food" stand. It's the same routine every year. To me it truly signifies the start of the autumn/winter months - and I love it. It goes hand in hand with the leaves falling from the trees, brisk cold mornings and the autumn sun. It's my favourite time of year.

One of my few fireworks pictures that doesn't suck...

But should we be doing this any more?

As I came home tonight, the air quality was evidently crap due to the smog from bonfires. The poor visibility and sulphurous air lingers around for a few days afterwards, but nobody seems to care. It seems a strange notion that we talk of being "green". We recycle, reduce our energy consumption and care about our carbon footprint - then over the course of about three days, we burn piles of rubbish and set off enough fireworks to totally obscure our view of the night sky - and it would appear that nobody says a word. That's good old British tradition for you.

Don't get me wrong. I love my bonfire night, me. I'll be the biggest hypocrite of them all. It's just (dare I say the phrase twice in one week) that it's something of a guilty pleasure these days for me.

There's the odd bit of agreement out there on the internets, but of course no-one wants to be called a party-pooper, do they? I draw the line at bonfire animations as a substitute, though - that's just crap.
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