The Anti-Socialite's Guide to Bonfire Night at Home

By Tom Pritchard on at

Going out is rubbish, especially at this time of year when it never stops raining and you have to wear gloves that stop you fiddling on your phone all the time. Sadly this is also the time of year when bonfire night happens, and people expect you to go out and celebrate the thwarting of a terrorist plot from 414 years ago. The grass is all wet, and those running shoes you wear all the time are definitely not waterproof. That's assuming the world isn't caked in mud, and the local chavs aren't lobbing bottle rockets at each other like this is a scene from The Warriors or The Purge.

So why go outside? It's perfectly okay to stay inside and have bonfire night in the warmth of the indoors. By yourself or with others, whatever you think is best for your own mental wellbeing. And the good news is you don't need a lot of prep.

Watch other People's Fireworks

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The thing about the sky is that everyone can see it. There is no private patch above your garden where only you get to see the fireworks, so why bother with the hassle of buying and setting up fireworks for yourself when you can see everyone else's? Go upstairs (if you can), and stare out of the window at all the pretty explosions happening over the local area. Not only is it free, it also means you don't have to lug yourself down to a nearby park and watch the council do their own demonstration.

Make a Mini Effigy and Burn it

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Obviously you have to be careful with this, because creating any kind of fire inside is basically asking for trouble. Do they even do Guy Fawkes effigies these days? In any case, you can still make one from matches, which are flammable enough to burn quickly but not so dangerous you'll burn down your house because you looked away for half a second.

Tie a few matchsticks together into a stick figure, then set them alight somewhere safe - like over the stove, a pan, or something you keep candles in. Carve a face into it if you're feeling really fancy.

Watch Gunpowder

Annoyingly this is not on BBC iPlayer, despite it being a BBC-made series, so you'll have to head over to Amazon Prime TV. The series, which features Kit Harrington as ringleader Robert Catesby, is a three-episode re-telling of the Gunpowder Plot and is perfect watching material at this time of year. Because of the historical significance and whatnot.

It's free to watch if you have Prime Video, otherwise all three episodes will cost you £7. Or £2.49 each if you're not sure you'll like it.

Watch/Read V for Vendetta

The 5th of November is a key part of V for Vendetta, whether you're watching the film or reading the original comic. V's whole plan hinges around the date in question, and there are plenty of explosions to be had throughout the whole tale. Given Bonfire Night is a very British thing, and not American, there aren't that many related things in the media, so you will have to make do with this. But hey, Alan Moore may be miserable but he is a great writer. And the film has a great cast, even if it wasn't very faithful to the source material.

The streaming services don't seem to have the film here, so you're just going to have to buy or rent it. It's available on Amazon and Google Play, but not iTunes. Not here, for some reason.

A Fireplace Video

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You can't set a proper bonfire indoors, and if you don't have a working fireplace you can't have the next best thing. But the next best thing after that is to grab a fireplace screensaver or video channel. Netflix has one, as does Amazon, and if you're not a subscriber to each of those services you can always grab a free one on YouTube.

Seasonal Food

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Baked potatoes, some sort of hot stew, parkin cake, and all the other things that are traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night can't really be done outside. So do it at home, however you see fit, and maybe mull some cider for yourself while you're at it.

With Halloween last week you might even be able to pick up some cheap toffee apples from your local supermarket. My local Tesco Express has a couple discounted.

Sparkler Apps

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You could use sparklers outside, but as I mentioned it's cold and wet out there. And even sparklers are no fun when it's cold and wet. So what's your alternative? No, don't set them off inside your house: just download a sparkler app onto your phone. There are dozens to choose from, no matter what OS you use, and that means you can play with pretend sparklers without singeing your own possessions. And if you drop one, well, that just means you have a broken screen instead of a burning hole in the carpet.

Play Dark Souls

All Dark Souls bonfires are save points, so there's really no better game to tie into Bonfire Night that this. Plus everyone agrees its really good, even if it is rather difficult.

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