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Life in the UK, Snippets of life, Travel tales

Winchester Bonfire

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved fireworks and bonfires. Everything that has fireworks or bonfires will always be my fondest memories. Among those are my 20th birthday when someone when to my place and lit fireworks (the big ones!) and the new year’s eve 2013 when my friends and I watched the fireworks sparked over the city at the rooftop of a friend’s house followed by a slumber party. And for bonfires: camping. Trust me, if I could go back to those nights of camping with uncomfortable sleeping bags, skewed tents, mosquitoes, and the fear of snakes slithering near our tent, I would. There’s this distinct wonderful feeling of sitting around the bonfire at the end of the day, chatting and singing until late in the night (or early in the morning).

Put fireworks and bonfires together, I would definitely go without thinking twice. This time, however, I almost didn’t go.

It was one of those bad days when I burned my toasts, remembered that I had no milk just after I poured my coffee (I can’t drink black coffee without milk), and hitting my toe against the dining table. To top it all, it was raining cats and dogs outside. Needless to say, going out was the last thing I wanted to do.

It was the first Saturday after Guy Fawkes night, and I’d been looking forward to that day since weeks before, all for Winchester Bonfire. Having missed last year’s event in favor of meeting a good friend from home who was in London for only a day, I’d been determined not to miss it this year. That is, until those things happened.

I was still hesitating until the very last minute, and finally decided to go. We took the train at 4, strolled around the city under the steady drizzle and warmed ourselves up with steaming cups of hot chocolate and coffee at Costa before joining the procession at 6. We walked slowly with the crowd to the venue, waited for what seemed like forever before they finally lit the bonfire. The biggest and most impressive for me, since I’ve never been to Guy Fawkes night before.

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It went on beautifully for quite a while, and we just stood there, feeling the warmth and looking at the hypnotizing glow of the fire.

Twenty minutes later, the fireworks started gloriously, and I frantically took pictures of the fireworks with my phone. Blame the rain, I left my camera at home as I just didn’t have the energy to take extra care with the rain cover and everything, so I thought my phone camera would be enough, just like usual.

Wrong.

Clearly, I didn’t remember that I would need high shutter speeds to capture fireworks, and as it would be dark, high ISO. And I just found out that night, apparently, the auto focus of my phone camera couldn’t adjust fast enough for fireworks.

After a while, I gave up and put away my phone, and just watched the fireworks in awe. The rain had stopped by then, and as always, watching the fireworks flare and blare always did wonders even to the worst mood.

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These pictures don’t do justice to what I saw, really (and I still, to this day, curse myself for not bringing my camera).

That was probably one of the most beautiful nights I’ve had here, and we finally went home with damp socks and muddy boots, feeling blissful despite the cold.

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