Fifth of November? Hard To Remember!


 

Guy Fawkes’ Night looms up, bonfires and fire-works, though all, these days, carefully supervised, in the New Nanny-State.

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None of that here in Jakarta, alas, and to be honest it’s hard to remember this is actually November at all.

I once asked a posh but very nice English lady, part of the ‘Embassy Crowd,’ as they’re known here, what she missed, if anything, about The Old Country, expecting maybe ‘proper fish and chips,’ a dearly-loved dish which is unobtainable in Indonesia except in the most up-market hotels.

She astounded me by replying “The seasons.”

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If there’s one thing I DO NOT EVER miss, it’s the British Winter, snow turning to slush, wet, cold, grey, miserable, although studded with brief outbreaks of delight, Hallowe’en, Guy Fawkes, Christmas, Hogmanay.

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  • Spring’s not so cruelly cold, but, like Summer, is prone to rain, unpredictable rain that makes every outing planned an exercise in crossed fingers.
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  • Autumn? No, as it’s merely a darkling prelude to Winter.

Canadian Fall, yes, golden brown leaves, but UK Autumn, no thanks.

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No, for me, the prospect of another hot day when I wake up is always an inspiration, even when there are no gallivants planned.

Like this idle Thursday just begun, no parties to go to, nobody to hang out with, no guests expected, not till Friday’s visitor.

Yet it’s nice to think of Guy Fawkes Night and what it represents.

Not that I’d blow up the House of Commons.

There are about thirty or forty MPs who don’t deserve that, men and women who are worth their salt, and thus it would be immoral to do so.

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  • But it’s useful to recall that Fawkes and his comrades devised their traitorous scheme because they put sectarian allegiance before their duty to King and Country.

For that disloyalty alone, never mind the bomb plot, I’d say they got what was coming to them.

History is a good thing to learn from.