There is something very English about cheap fireworks. They blaze for a few seconds at no great height and then go phut, returning to darkness. Bonfires, however, are far more satisfying. They flame and glow and heat a cold autumn night.
Spiced Beetroot wine seemed like the right choice for a bonfire party. It has a warming taste of cloves that goes well with standing around outside in hat, scarf, gloves and five layers of clothing.
Earlier in the day I had helped Julia build the bonfire, and as it was formed by Julia, it was as much Art as a pile of wood for burning. She created a stage in homage to Opera North's production of Beatrice and Benedict, complete with poppies, a flaming arch and a nun on a bicycle. Catherine wheels gave an illusion of movement before fire asserted its authority and the whole thing burnt. It was a memorable evening.