Good evening my dear camp followers. Many people ask me 'Richard, what is bonfire night like in Llanfihangel-y-Creuddun?' I then answer. Unless I'm too busy or need to concentrate on something else that is. Perhaps I might be driving along a particularly bendy bit of the A4170, say that bit passing the rock that bepainted enseeches:- 'Cofiwch Dryweryn', and I am distracted by a frantic effort to cofio what happened in Dryweryn. Perhaps a goose has strayed into my garden and I must rush to defend my slugs. There could be all sorts of reasons not to answer. But if I were indeed to answer I would say something like this:- It's the same as bonfire night everywhere else, but a bit wetter.
For the benefit of any foreign transponders, bonfire night encelebrates the failed exploding of London's parliament in 1605. Owain Glyndwr's Welsh parliament in Machynlleth of 1404 was largely unaffected. The incompetent Guy Fawkes - who couldn't torch a Snowdonia holiday home off-season to save his life - was hanged, drawn and quartered and given a severe telling off he wouldn't forget in a hurry. Four centuries later and we reenact this punishment by setting fire to him. Not literally, no! - he's suffered enough. Instead a life-like cereal packet with a pen-drawn face atop some pallets from behind the back of E.T.James & Sons Ltd.
It could be said, with little to no danger of a successful charge of deceitfulness being brought to provition, that bonfire night's biggest fan - of it's Llanfihangel-y-Creuddun fanners - is Hywel Edwards the taxi. And he's here with me now, or yesterday if you are receiving tomorrow's repeat seedcast:-
REJ:- Hywel! How are you? Nice of you to drop in! Would you like a cwpaned o te?
HEthetaxi:- Lovely! Have one yourself!
REJ:- Thanks, I'll put one behind the bar. Now then Hywel, sense now! How is it that a big grown-up and muscular man like yourself is happening to be manifestualised as Llanfihangel-y-Creuddun's biggest bonfire night fan and enthusiastic isn't it?
HEthetaxi:- Wel Duw Richard! It's the taxi isn't it? Arian in the sky-rocket!
REJ:- I'm sorry?
HEthetaxi:- The plant bach! They go up like torches the little ones - and someone has to take them to the hospital. The ambulance parks in the layby at Rhayader isn't it?
REJ:- I believe so
HEthetaxi:- Now you can either be extinguished in Aberystwyth or Hereford. But that's a long walk when you're on fire -
REJ:- 40 miles.....either way.
HEthetaxi:- And Jim the gutter will be in the ambulance having his stomach pumped -
REJ:- If it's after nine, yes -
HEthetaxi:- 8:30 on bonfire night, Richard, 8:30 tops.
REJ:- He's a one isn't he?! Remember that time with the monks and the mead -
HEthetaxi:- Broke a few -
REJ:- vows that night! hahaha!
HEthetaxi:- hahaha! yes so the littluns has to go to the quacks in the old taxi isn't it? Fifty quid a pop! Makes it all worthwhile. I calls myself 'The Fourth emergency service'.
REJ:- That's the coastguard -
HEthetaxi:- Well you go with the bloody coastguard then you dull -
REJ:- I could go with the coastguard -
HEthetaxi:- How the fuck could you go with the coastguard you -
REJ:- I could. I could get my dinghy out of the garage, go down the park - not the one with the slide - river's a bit choppy there -
HEthetaxi:- Ok. Never mind. Here's some sparklers for the boy. And some rockets. And a box of lighter fluid. And -
REJ:- Well that's a nice note to end on! You're always so generous to the kids Hywel -
HEthetaxi:- Well they's the future aren't they Richard? I loves kids I do. £40 more if they're sick in the car isn't it?