Friday, November 5, 2010


Well raking up leaves could be a chore and there are certainly heaps here, when we moved in to this house you couldnt see the river at the bottom of the garden due to the thick undergrowth and tree folliage now everything has died off and you can see the river and the houses the other side of it. Theres a hedge of holly which will stay green and provide a bit of a break right enough. The raking shan't be a chore either as I have a blower machine and the first dry spell I get I shall blow them into Marks garden, oops he reads this.

Its the 5th of November, this day in  1605, thirteen young men planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Among them was Guy Fawkes, Britain's most notorious traitor. I was wondering why its not celebrated here then remembered that after Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, English Catholics who had been persecuted under her rule had hoped that her successor, James I, would be more tolerant of their religion. James I had, after all, had a Catholic mother. Unfortunately, James did not turn out to be more tolerant than Elizabeth and a number of young men, 13 to be exact, decided that violent action was the answer.

A small group took shape, under the leadership of Robert Catesby. Catesby felt that violent action was warranted. Indeed, the thing to do was to blow up the Houses of Parliament. In doing so, they would kill the King, maybe even the Prince of Wales, and the Members of Parliament who were making life difficult for the Catholics. Today these conspirators would be known as extremists, or terrorists. Actually I  didnt remember that I  googled it.
Guy Fawkes, who was in the cellar of the parliament with the 36 barrels of gunpowder when the authorities stormed it in the early hours of November 5th, was caught, tortured and executed.

Even today, the reigning monarch only enters the Parliament once a year, on what is called "the State Opening of Parliament". Prior to the Opening, and according to custom, the Yeomen of the Guard search the cellars of the Palace of Westminster.
I saw this old poem

Remember, remember the Vifth of November

Gunpowder, treason and plot,
Pray tell me the reason why Gunpowder treason,
Should iver be vorgot.
Our Quane's a valiant Zawlger.
Car's her blunderbus on her right shawldewr,
Cocks her pistol, drays her rapier,
Praay gie us zummit vor her zaayke yer,
A stick, an'a styaake vor Quane Vickey's zaakye,
If e wunt gie on I'll taayke tow.
The better vor we an' the wrus vor you.

I think either his keyboard was sticky or he had the worst case of typos this side of Hogmanay when my typing tends to be a bit howr ya goin.

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