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bombs over london — from the fornt lines of guy fawkes day

November 5th, 2001

I am filing this report from the front lines. For the past four nights the sky’s of London have been filled with the sights and sounds of exploding rockets. Every few minutes a new barrage begins. Any direction you look you can see the explosions. The sounds of the rockets echo down the streets and allys forming a constant background noise. The air hangs thick with the smell of black powder smoke.

From my window, on the sixth floor of the City University halls of Residence in Islington I can sometimes see four or five explotions at a time. Late at night the flashes illuminate my room, and the blasts drowned out conversation.

This is Brain Beggerly reporting from London, England for Live Journal.

* * * * *

“What the hell was all that about?” I hear you ask. Well way back in 1605, someone buy the name of Guy Fawkes decided he wanted to blow up Parliament. So he got his tools together and tunneled under the buildings and planted his dynamite. Little did he know he was going to be unsuccessful, caught and charged as a traitor. He met an unpleasant end and continues to every year on or around November 5th. The 5th being the official day.

Also known as “Bonfire Night,” this is a holiday celebrated throughout England. There are local bonfires all over the place with firework displays, some have food stalls, and djs, and usually an effigy of Guy Fawkes is burned (hence the continual unpleasant ending for him). Good fun is had by all and leading up to the day you may find children around town asking “Penny for the Guy?” so they can buy fireworks or such.

Anyway, for the past four night, starting at around 7:00pm Friday there have been essentially non-stop fireworks here in London. I have a nice view of them from my dorm room as I am on the sixth story and my building is the tallest thing for quite a long way in the direction my window faces (which is toward central London). Every time I start open my mouth after sundown I have to compete with the booms, snaps and whistles of roman candles. I am starting to think that London is being bombed and this whole Guy Fawkes thing is a cover. I feel like I am in Kabul…

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