Bonfire Preps. Pickwell Style.

If you are a long-standing follower of this blog, you may remember that this is Steve's favourite time of year. The time of year when he walks round with a permanent smile and a spring in his step. 

Never is this more acute than when the lorry arrives to deliver the fireworks. He even tries to draw the kids in to checking them all off the list.

This is why he has been nicknamed Gandalf (thanks PT). 
So here follows the Pickwell recipe for bonfire night preps:

1. Prepare the bonfire. Start by forming a structure which allows for a series of tunnels 

through which the wind will blow thus 'fanning the flames' from below. (make sure you check for hedgehogs at this point as they like to make little houses in a wood pile). 

Then load on anything you have to burn. 

2. Make paper lanterns. 

Start by cutting up bamboo into short and long lengths.

These will form the frame.

Make a triangle shape and masking tape the ends together to hold in place.

 Take a candle, wrap in tin foil (to collect the drips of wax) and fix into place with wire at the bottom. Create a higher, smaller triangle of bamboo and Voila! 

Next, using pva glue, dab liberally over tissue paper and stick onto each side, allowing for lots of overlap.  

Only take the tissue paper up to the point of the higher bamboo frame so it allows for the smoke of the candle to blow out the top.

When they are dry, cut a small window in the side so you can light the candles. Poke wire through the top of the triangle in a circle shape. Wrap wire around the long length of bamboo and create a strong hook to attach the lantern onto. 

3. Make paraffin torches. Cut lengths of wood about 80cm long (Hazel is particularly good for this as it is long and straight).

Cut up felt (make sure it isn't fire retardant as so much is these days), or towelling (we find is just as good) into long, thin strips..

Wrap tightly around the end of the wood and secure well with wire. These will be dipped in paraffin on the night!

4. Go for a walk and find all things 'autumnal'. These will be used to decorate the Ballroom, alongside our beautiful 'pattypan' squash (remember them from a previous blog post?). The final look of the decorations can be seen on a later post.

5. Find friends to keep you entertained while you work (and not just for what they are wearing)

Whatever props come to hand, we don't care! Just keep the entertainment rolling!

6. Invite the headmaster to keep the 'entertaining' friends in order.

7. Get a whole bunch of willing friends to start prepping the food! Bean and chorizo cassoulet and roasted butternut squash soup takes a heck of a lot of chopping!

We are ready. Let the games begin! 

(We will fill you in on the night afterwards - sorry you can't all be here!)