Today was one of those days when you know you live in a village. And it was a Good Thing.
Most of the day was pretty ordinary – washing, shopping, cooking – stuff you would do anywhere (and probably do).
Then this evening, once the OH got back from his football match (a draw, but the opposition’s goal was apparently amazing, so honour sort of salvaged), all three of us walked down to the field donated by a local farmer for the bonfire and fireworks.
You could tell when you were getting nearer from the number of cars parked along the road. Our village fireworks are becoming quite well-known, so people come from further afield even though they may be total strangers, as well as relatives. But I digress. Cold-ish but clear, the best sort of weather for a firework party, but the organisers take that into account and set up hot drinks and food for sale, all stalls manned by volunteers.
So how does this make it a village event? For starters, you’re greeted by name as you show your ticket. Or at least one of your party is. And then when you get into the area near the bonfire, there are groups of people you know. In fact, there are more familiar folks there than unfamiliar. And the volunteers selling hot mince pies all know you, or at least recognise you, even if they don’t know your name.
And fame is spreading. One lady approached me and asked if I was the lady selling biscuits at the deli – someone else had pointed me out.
“I just love those chocolate cherry ones. I’m not sure whether to ask you to make more of them or to stop altogether and save me from myself!” she laughed.
I warned her that I had in fact dropped some more off that very morning at the deli and she squealed in pleasure.
Then the fireworks started. For a village display, pretty good. Obviously, they won’t compare with the opening of the Sydney Olympics, or the ones we saw in Plymouth when we were staying down there in the hope of seeing the solar eclipse (some sort of regional finals, they were excellent) but better than a couple of rockets and a packet of sparklers. And slightly further away from most people’s homes, so slightly less terrifying for pets than an explosion in the back garden. Hedonism certainly didn’t seem bothered when I popped in on him on the way home.
You can’t chat during the fireworks, partly because of the noise, but afterwards, as people slowly drifted towards the exit or the beer tent, greetings and conversations could be heard, and I ran into Delyth, wrapped up like an abominable snowman and probably sweating underneath it all, because it wasn’t that cold.
“I was in the deli this morning,” she said. “Looking good! Let me know if you want to expand beyond the village.”
I hadn’t even contemplated that. I think personally I’d rather sell my biscuits within walking distance, but I suppose it depends on demand.