The Fire And The Teacup

It is a bit of a paradox. During the time of the year when we turn inward, we also turn outward, seeking light in the darkness. Every year, Heaton Park draws us in, on the 5th of November, following the trail of lights like breadcrumbs through the shadows, moving on like moths in thrall to a flame.


I had an aunt who claimed she could discern things just by looking into the fire. The fire and a teacup. I gazed into the flames and could see faces. If you gaze long enough you can see anything.

imageScreams and laughter; the clamour of the children. The fervour of the fair has a dirty, oily sheen to it. And an element of danger in the hungry eyes of strangers, drifting amongst the machinery with predatory stealth.

imageAmidst the smells of onions and burgers, a man lined up three cups of black peas on an illuminated shelf. They are not peas, of course. But who cares? Buffaloes don’t have wings.


Around and around the seasons change, the world turns, and we cling on, without getting dizzy. We left the fair behind, further into the night, further into the season, following the breadcrumb-light trail back out to the city street, the sky still fragmented by rogue rockets. Our clothes hung on to the stench of smoke.



2 thoughts on “The Fire And The Teacup

    • There are some-few really-who claim it is a night that celebrates an (attempted) act of terrorism. But to everyone else (kids especially) it is just a fun night of fireworks and fires and fairs 🙂 It normally pours down too, but the show must go on 🙂
      There used to be a tradition where the children would dress up a dummy (or one of their friends as a dummy) to represent Guy Fawkes, and would go around the houses asking for a “Penny for the Guy.” I can remember they used to come around to the pub I went in when I was younger, but you rarely see that now. I think it may have been overtaken by the Trick Or Treating of Halloween the week before. The only Guy we see these days are placed on the fires to burn.


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