Please to remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot …
Have you ever heard that rhyme? Ever since I read it in a nursery rhyme book in my single-digit years, it has stuck in my head. I soon learned that it commemorated Gunpowder Treason Day, or Guy Fawkes Day, when the Catholic Guy Fawkes’s attempt on King James I’s life in 1605 failed. It was made an official celebration to thank God for His deliverance of the king. It was a day for church services and sermons … anti-Catholic sermons. British people celebrated it since then, mostly with bonfires, fireworks, and Guy Fawkes effigies … but also with much anti-Catholic sentiment; by the late 1800s, the anti-Catholic violence fortunately stopped. It is still a British holiday today.
The rhyme and the holiday and their association with old England fascinated me even when I was little, and therefore November 5th was a memorable day to me. This may sound silly, but I am someone who remembers and values her childhood particularly well … I gave Angela, my favorite Whitney doll (Barbie’s little sister Stacy’s friend? Remember those, one step up from the Kelly dolls?), November 5th as a birthday. She’s red-haired like me; she’s very pretty; her hair is short and cute and her hazel eyes sparkle. I gave her all the qualities I admired most, such as intelligence, athleticism, kindness, and bookishness; that’s why she needed a birthday with an intriguing history, and one in autumn at that, which was my favorite season. Angela appreciated it: I don’t recall ever having her go to a bonfire, but she thought a lot about the history of her birthday. She would have liked to celebrate it like England does, however: a chilly, windswept, star-studded night, trees with just a smattering of clinging leaves, the heat of a huge bonfire warming your insides and battling the cold, fireworks piercing the dark sky and scattering the chatter of friends.
The reason I have such fond memories of my dolls is that I played stories with them, which turned into my writing fiction. The stories I created with them were in essence like the stories I would write. Most of the creative elements were there … characters, personality, plot, action, dialogue, setting … the only thing lacking was words on a page. As I grew older, my story-writing increased in direct relation to my role-playing’s decrease.
Well, one thing led to another in this post, I suppose, but my main thought is this: November 5th isn’t really just another day for me. Like fall in general, it makes me nostalgic.
Any thoughts on Guy Fawkes Day or special things, like toys, from your past?
Oh, and I almost forgot! The Alice Quest is up to 8,769 words. I’ve written 3,187 words since Friday.