Friday, 7 November 2008

Fire!

How was your November 5th? I wrapped up warm, dragged my lazy bum out of the flat and went to the rainy crowd-fest that was Lewes bonfire night.

As always it was a brilliant night and the procession was as noisy and magical as ever (though I didn't really understand the Health and Safety effigy. Anyone who lives in East Sussex care to explain?).

Talking of fire - my guardian angel is most definitely looking out for me. After saving me from a melting computer a year or so ago it protected me from a smouldering set top box last night!

I'd been out of the flat for a few hours and tried to get 'Strictly Come Dancing - It Take Two' to play on the On Demand service when I returned. It didn't work so I unplugged the set top box, counted to ten, then plugged it back in. I was just about to leave the room to let it boot up when, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a plume of grey smoke snaking out of the top of the set top box and a chemical burning smell filled the room. Aaagggggh! I unplugged the set top box, tapped it tentatively to see if it was hot, then hauled it up off my TV, carried it across the hallway and chucked it onto my balcony.

At first I was miffed that I had an evening of no TV and, more importantly, no broadband in front of me but gradually realised how lucky I'd been. If the set top box had started to smoulder while I was out of the house the entire flat might have burned down by the time I got home!

I rang Virgin Media and when the Indian call worker asked me, "What is the nature of the problem?" I amused myself by replying "My set top box is on fire". I could actually hear his sharp intake of breath. "Have you unplugged it madam?" he asked. Good job I had - during the 5 minutes or so it took to listen to the squillion options and press 100 different buttons my living room curtains would have been up in flames!

Anyway, good ol' Virgin. They had 2 engineers out first thing this morning to replace the set top box and I have broadband again. Hoorah!

Here are some photos I took in Lewes with my mobile phone (click on them to see a bigger version):











13 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

I'm glad you weren't burned to a crisp.

What's with the stripes and the burning crosses?

Calistro said...

Leather - I'm guessing but, as Lewes is close to the coast, I think the stripes represent smugglers. The burning crosses represent the 17 protestants who were burnt to death for their faith during the Marian Persecutions (when Queen Mary I enforced her Catholic beliefs upon the country). An effigy of the Pope is also burned!

Oh dear, what I've written in response to your question sounds very anti-Catholic doesn't it, but these days the procession is more to do with tradition rather than any kind of religious war!

JJ said...

Oooh, it looks really scary (Lewes) and crikey, the set top box thing... was really scary.

Debs said...

It sounds like you had a dramatic evening in more ways than one. Glad to hear that all is ok with the flat.

The procession is amazing. There's nothing like that over here.

Bernadette said...

Great pics, Cally, though it did worry me at first as I thought they were of your set top box!

Very glad you came through it unscathed.

HelenMH said...

I also assumed the photos were going to be of your set top box on fire - so glad they weren't!

Captain Black said...

If my memory serves me from long ago when I used to live in Brighton, the Cliffe Bonfire Society burn two effigies each year. One is the "serious" matter of burning the pope. The other is a more "fun" version. One year they burned Maggie Thatcher and her head exploded! Another year they burned the Rainbow Warrior.

Showing my age now, aren't I?

Glad you and your property are safe/fixed.

liz fenwick said...

Glad you were home and all is fine in the end!

Great photos but remind me not to go to Lewes on Bonfire night - looks quite scarey!

womagwriter said...

Captain Black - I went to the Lewes bonfire one year when they burned Maggie Thatcher - perhaps we were at the same one?!

It is all a bit pagan and anarchic, but great fun. I can only imagine the Elf and Safety people have tried to stop it, and that'll be why in the great tradition of the Lewes bonfire night, they decided to burn them instead.

Emerging Writer said...

It sounds wonderfully pagan and pyromaniac.

Lazy Perfectionista said...

Glad you escaped the burning box! It's also good to see the pictures of Lewes - I haven't been for 3 years, and was rather grumpy on Wednesday at the thought of missing it yet again (it's so annoying when Bonfire Night is on a weekday...). My friends all think I'm a bit of a pyromaniac, but I think that's just what growing up in Sussex does to you!

Jean said...

I'm now eyeing my set top box with trepidation. It feels kinda hot. I once had a fire in my freezer!

Gail said...

I had my first trip to Lewes Bonfire night this year (your photos are rather better) and it was such an adventure! I'm glad I took my friend's advice about wearing ear plugs...