Remember,remember the 5th of November……or not!

6 Nov

The 5th of November. Guy fawkes night, bonfire night or fireworks night as some may describe it. It’s actually a night where we technically celebrate the fact that Guy Fawkes failed an attempt to blow up the house of lords years and years ago. (kinda weird when you think of it…) but all we really care about these days is a great big fireworks show!

I’ve always quite enjoyed bonfire night since being a kid! Fireworks, sparklers, hats and gloves and a hot dog! You can’t go wrong really!………HA! Those are the words I said to myself on the afternoon of the 5th. Oh how excited I was! For the past three years whilst I was in university, I’d missed out on bonfire celebrations for different reasons but this year I was determined to go out! Since moving back home from university, it’s been quite hard maintaining any sort of social life so this was a rare opportunity to redeem myself (woooo!!) and have a lovely evening out with my bezzie mate!

The plan was to check out the Barry Island fireworks display (the place most of you will probably know from TV show Gavin & Stacey) at 7:45pm. Ooooooh, insert fancy picture of Barry Island here…

IMG_0742

With me being the control freak sergeant that I am, I’d meticulously planned out the evening. “Ahhh, I can already smell the luscious hot dogs and fish and chip shops down by the seafront” I thought to myself. My excitement to watch the fireworks and have shiny sparklers was beyond. “Oh my god. I can feel like a child again, this will be FAB.” I thought…. Well Meg, your thoughts were probably the only exciting part of the night pet…

We had set off for the evening 2 HOURS in advance. (2 bleeding hours!!) The train journey was only a 25 minute one and understandably we knew it would be busy but by leaving in plenty of time we thought all would be fine. Oh no, megan, how mistaken you were! It had taken us 2 trains and 2 hours later to finally arrive. Everybody around us were like a pack of wild hounds. After the gentle approach at the beginning of our journey, of politely trying to get our way onto the train, it quite frankly turned into the hunger games on attempt number three. My friend and I were on it like a car bonnet. We’d volunteered as tributes and this was god damn WAR I tell you!!

Thankfully we made it onto the fourth train at this point. We’d fought off the pack of hounds and even bagged ourselves seats on the train (get in!). What a jolly train ride it was too. We laughed the last 2 disastrous hours away and were finally glad to be en route! At this point we were also quite aware that we’d be missing the first 10 minutes of the show. “Ah, it’s fine, it’s fine” I said to myself with a glimmer of hope still inside me. “We won’t miss the whole thing. It’s fine! Most firework shows definitely last more than 30 minutes. Ah it’ll be great. Sparklers, chips, fireworks on the seafront! Can’t wait!”

Trains train trains……SUCH FUN.

Trains train trains……SUCH FUN.

As we approached the final stop, Barry Island, we could see the fireworks display in progress. They looked wonderfully bright and pretty and I was getting even more excited to finally watch them in all their glory. Our last (what we thought at the time..) hurdle of this 2 hour journey was to get off of the godforsaken train without being dragged underneath it in the process! Elbow barges and shuffling ensued. Before I knew it, we’d made it to dry land. Oh my god, the pavement was upon me! WE’RE FREE! WE MADE IT!! Such joy and elation was felt. We merrily totted down the station hill in excitement and my friend even walked into a lamppost whilst unintentionally filming it which made for one of the best comedic moments of my life. (I will cherish that moment forever…) Everything was grand!

That grand feeling lasted about a nano second until we turned a corner and suddenly the fireworks stopped and we were met with a stampede of people. Hundreds and hundreds of happy, satisfied faces stormed towards us and looked as if they were heading home. Um… woah, what’s happening? Is there in an interval? I genuinely thought we’d just missed the first half and we would be waiting for the next part. Surely it’s not just finished? There is no way that we have just missed the whole thing after stepping off the train 5 seconds ago. THIS CANNOT BE HAPPENING!!!!!!!

We wandered aimlessly without a clue. Has it actually finished? We were bemused. It had eventually sunk in that we’d infact missed the whole bloody thing. Absolutely gobsmacked didn’t even begin to describe it! What on earth are we going to do now?! Fish and chips maybe? Oh no wait, there’s a queue the length of China at every shop. FAIL FAIL FAIL. What is life right now? Right, plan B, maybe we can grab a sparkler from somewhere, surely there is SOMETHING we can take from this night?!

Sod it. Just sod it. At this point we’d lost all hope. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself at how disastrously wrong this night had gone! My poor old chum wasn’t too pleased. As I tried to console his poor broken heart we headed towards the train station to cut our losses and go home.

Hooooooooooooly crap. LOOK AT THAT QUEUE. It’s even longer than the chip shop ones! God dammit, why did we not think any of this through??!?! Top organisation lads. Top effort. We fearfully joined the back of the mile long queue to the train and then we heard a voice.

“Are you in the queue for the train?!” proclaimed a boozed up Barry resident.
“Yes we are” we replied.
“Eh, why don’t you take a 10 minute walk around the corner and go to the next train station love? You’ll probably beat this lot and get on the train before them!” she said.
We both looked at each other with a slight hint of fear but also a spot of hope.
“Yeah, it’s only around the corner love! Turn right by the ship!”
We thanked the trusty local and set off on our adventure home.

Right, hold the phone. Let’s get the google maps out and double check this. We are in Barry of all places, I do not know where I’m going. That woman was lovely bless her, but in fairness, she had a can of cider in one hand and a pushchair in the other. This is a trip in darkness to an unknown land. We need to google this shit. (note: how on earth did we survive before the invention of phones and google maps!?!??!?!)

15 minutes later, with thanks to trusty google maps and in fairness, a huge crowd of people heading in the same direction as us, we made it to the next station (unscathed) and all that was left was to hop on a train and go home. (right?…) Oh but no. About an hour later we were still stood at the train station attempting to figure out what was going on. With cold hands and empty,growling stomachs, at this point, I think we well and truly gave up! People at the train station become frustrated and started coming up with cunning plans of catching the train back to Barry Island so that they’d end up on the right train coming back through the original station we were at. (all very complicated but not a bad plan.) I, however was slightly more sceptical. After all the hassle we’d had during the night, I was certainly not prepared to take any risks at this stage. As these cunning folk ran over to the other platform to get the other train, a stroke of luck finally set in for us. The original train back to our destination was coming our way! The people across on the other platform screamed “oh my god! wait, the other train is coming!!!!” and legged it back over the bridge. Everybody laughed at them and we certainly joined in as we were set up to be some of the first people to now get on the train. WAHAHAHAHA! Now for the final round of The Hunger Games. Elbows and arms were flying everywhere. Some poor little girl even got pushed whilst she cried in her fathers arms! It was a disgrace. A shambles. Everyone was like absolute animals. Honestly, screw the hunger games. They should put a film crew on a train on a bonfire night in Wales and see the results. Astonishing.

So 5 hours after setting off for our joyous night and I had made it home. Done. Finnito. That was my long lasting memory of a bonfire night which I don’t think I’ll ever forget. It was an adventure to say the least but I think it’s fair to say I will not be returning next year! So thanks Mr.Fawkes for giving us this cool night but I’m terribly sorry, I was unable to celebrate as I was too busy participating in the secret filming of a gladiator style game show. (If someone finds this ending up on the TV one day, let me know okay?…)

Have you ever had any eventful bonfire nights or have some funny stories to share? Let me know! I’d love to hear your tales! I hope my story didn’t bore you too much but I found it too eventful not to share! Hope you enjoyed and thank you very much for reading 🙂

Stay tuned for more adventures and ciao for now! x

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