Sunday, 26 June 2011

Bonfire of the vacuums

Another midwinter's day, and another memorable winter solstice celebration. This year's event will forever go down in history as bonfire of the vacuums.

But let me start at the beginning...

It was a perfect evening, fine and clear, with very little wind. Chilly, sure, but we had a bonfire. A mighty big bonfire, and lots of fuel for it. (Some of it was even timber!) Before dinner, we partook of a short ceremony during which we exhaled a specific negative emotion (me: doubt) and inhaled its opposite (confidence). Then we welcomed back the sun (woo hoo) as now the days are getting longer.

After dinner (more of a banquet, really), most of us headed back out to the fire and built it up again, piling on log after log after tree branch. We also sang a few songs and even succumbed to a little dance around the fire. But all the while we were chilling and chatting, embracing the warmth and dodging the sparks and smoke, weird humming sounds (a bit like a WW2 air raid siren) were coming from the adjacent shed...

And then we discovered some of the guys were busy converting old vacuum cleaners into flame throwers. (War had apparently arrived!) Which prompted us to sing a little song:
Three red vacuums, sitting in the field
Three red vacuums, sitting in the field
And when one red vacuum accidentally caught on fire . . .
There were two red vacuums, sitting in the field.
Exploding vacuums
The first vacuum didn't really work; it just burst into flames. (We were cowering behind a trailer.) The second vacuum rather impressively managed to spurt a jet of flame for about 5 seconds, before bursting into flames. The third was even better, but still ultimately ended up in a ball of fire.

Despite knowing how wrong this all was (and how dangerous) we were by now finding it all rather entertaining. But that wasn't the end. Next came a procession of . . . certain objects containing flammable gases and fluids. Most were chucked onto a fire contained within a 44 gallon drum (even so, we still cowered behind the trailer until they went 'bang'). And we scuttled further away for one object in particular, which produced a massive and rather impressive fireball.

Yes, well, as I said: bonfire of the vacuums.

An excellent and memorable evening, with a canopy of amazing stars and some interesting people to hang out with.


  1. Love it. Great entry. Love that second photo of all the fires. As if one fire just wasn't enough.

  2. Thanks for the blog post buddy! Keep them coming... upright vacuum cleaner