Have you bought your sparklers yet? – Parkin (Part 1)

blackheath fireworks 2

I don’t hold with this Bonfire Night vs Halloween false debate that seems to spring up every year. Celebrate both, I say, and Divali and St Luke’s Day and anything else that turns up on the calendar around now. We live on a windy, dark and damp island stuck in the North Atlantic, and we all need as many opportunities to go out and meet people as possible so that we don’t spend all of October-March eating reheated beef stew and peering balefully out of windows.

As long as you do celebrate it, mind. Waving sparklers and watching fireworks are life-enhancing things, and I thought until last year that that was an uncontroversial point of view but we’ll come to that later.

So today, we’re talking about parkin, a traditional Bonfire Night thing. I was going to say delicacy, but as we’ll see there’s not much delicate about it:

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