Sunday, November 06, 2005

Bonfire night!

We don't give our visitors much time to catch their breath around here. It's thrills and excitement all the time. Here are the intrepid travellers outside the old Cavendish lab where the electron was first discovered. And we also took them to a kid-oriented chemistry show where we got helium balloons and Elaine got kitty whiskers painted on her face and decided to wear her coat backwards. After lunch the kids and I came home and the others did the rounds of the colleges and so on.

For the big excitement of the day we all had to wait till dark! The common had been filling up for days with trucks hauling in amusement park rides, and at 6 pm, it was full of glowing, flashing, music-booming fun!

When we first got there, there were a few hundred people, the kids could walk on any ride they saw, and manouevring was not out of the question. Mary took Dee over to the disabled viewing tent, so they got a nice place to watch the fireworks without the crush of the crowd, which developed very fast! We took a porta-potty break and when we got back the people were wall-to-wall, and we had to carry Elaine so she wouldn't get squashed! The kids did have fun on the rides, with Arthur having two rides on the bumper cars, or dodgems, as they call them here! Here are both kids on motorbikes -- a sort of merry-go-round thing.

Just as they paid their money and got on the world's tiniest ferris wheel, the fireworks started. The other rides stopped, but since the wheel had just got going, they got to watch "from the air" for a few minutes! They were pretty amazing fireworks! It was more or less non-stop for half an hour, with every kind of explosion possible. Very noisy, of course. When I asked Arthur which were his favourite kind, he said, "the quiet ones."

At first the kids wanted to stay and go on more rides, but post-firework exhaustion did set in, and after a few minutes of watching the huge bonfire blaze away, it was decided that we should call it a night.

Today's activities will include winding wool into a ball, and other fantastic feats!