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After an early but shaky night (L had a sleep tantrum and sat up in my bed for a while, refusing to talk to me or lie next to me), we were awoken this morning at 5:30a.m. by children shouting and banging a drum.  I saw this as nothing out of the ordinary.  When there is a neighbourhood event, we are often alerted like this, and those who don’t wish to attend, just go back to sleep.  Except I couldn’t.  And anyway, Y had already promised the children they would go and “see the big fire”.  I considered going back to sleep and letting him go with them.  Then my mother bells started ringing as I thought about the huge fire and it’s unstable nature, and my husband’s inability to deal with two children at the same time AND enjoy the fire and the various treats that would be handed out. 

So I whispered to L…”do you want to go and see the big fire?”  Thinking he would look at me crossly and go back to sleep, I was quite surprised when he sat bolt upright and shakily said, “big fire, big fire” with a grin.  So we all got dressed in our bedroom – we’d had the heater on for most of the night and I thought at least it would be warmer than going downstairs and waiting for the heater to warm up a freezing cold room.  H got dressed under the covers in the clothes we had set aside the previous night.  Underwear + leggings + trousers + long-sleeved tee + short-sleeved tee + wooly jumper + scarf + long socks + coat and hat and mittens.  I wore a similar amount of clothing and was FREEZING, so thank goodness for the fire.  As we were walking around, we saw the fire alight and at that moment, the top collapsed and only the bottom of the fire remained.  Lots of people had brought branches with bits of home-made dumpling, marshmallows and even dried squid attached, and they roasted them on the fire.  The children got a little too close to the fire for my liking, but the volunteer fire brigade were there keeping an eye on things, although not really all that well.  I suppose that is my over-protective instinct again, but you know, it IS fire after all…I got a little worried when L said he wanted to “get into the water”, it’s fire, not water dear.

Some neighbours came around bringing sweet drinks, soups, beer and goodie bags for the children consisting of a satsuma, orange juice and a packet of crisps.  H dropped her whole peeled satsuma on the floor..of course.  But all in all it was an ok time.  I got a few stares, but mostly people paid me no attention, which suits me just fine!  Our neighbours little girl came too, so H and her played for a little while.  I think they had fun, although L was itching to get back home.  It was all just a little bit cold for him.  So I’m glad we all trooped out for it, but also glad to be back home in the warm on a relaxing national holiday.  Tomorrow, Mochitsuki at the kindergarten!!!


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