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Originally posted November 5 2004 at 22:11 (which was Guy Fawke's Night) under Friends and Moments. 0 Comments. Trackbacks Disabled.

Fireworks Take 2

Bang, boom, bang

I meant to say something in the last post about actual the fireworks, but somehow lost sight of that. So, this is the additional stuff I was going to say, all neatly wrapped in a post of its own. Isn’t that nice?

I should probably explain that all these fireworks are due to a British tradition alternativly known as Bonfire night (because lots of bonfires get lit) or Guy Fawkes night (after the name of the man it commemorates)—or even simply fireworks night. It is a celebration (?) of the failure of Guy Fawkes to blow up the houses of parliment with a lot of gunpowder in the early 17th century; what became known as the originally titles gunpowder plot. We celebrate it by blowing lots of things up (never quite understood the logic here) and burning lots of effigies of Mr Fawkes on bonfires (except in York, where I currently live, there’s a bit of a tradition not to burn dolls representing the poor chap as he was born here. The bonfire bit probably originally comes from the All Hallows Eve—or actually Samhain—celebrations). Actually, having realised that I don’t have too much idea why people are making rather large bangs all around me I just found the Wikipedia page quite informative.

Anyway, what was I saying. Oh yes, Fireworks. They’ve been going off for well over a week, slowly building up to the constant barrage which started around 4:30 this evening and has only just eased off. The brief colour splashes and half glimpsed flashes always make me whimsically wonder if some alien battle isn’t being fought in our skies. It also always reminds me of going to the local park with my parents when young. Saltwell Park is quite large and the display the largest organised in the area so it was always quite full of people. Sparklers waving in the night air as the occasional home brough firework was let off by someone before the main show started. They always fired them from across the boating lake, I think, the crowds roped off at a safe distance. We’d oh and ah at the fireworks and for many a year I was a little afraid they’d fall on my head (not the firework in bulk you understand but the twinkling, sparkling flakes of colour. In fact years later, old enough that my parents were replaced with friends, I did see a spark land on the grass nearby, so I suppose I wasn’t completly wrong). My favourite part though was always the “battle”. A wire framed arrangement of some sort which lit up the shape of a tank and a boat (perhaps not always that but that’s what I recall). With a sequence of bangs the lights (I’ve never been certain what was causing the effect) would go as the two battled each other for victory. I think I supported the tank. Then the final crecendo of the display would be followed by a walk home throught the cold air, perhaps with the last sparkler spelling my name. Could always watch the fireworks and bonfires through the wonderful view from my parent’s bathroom window as well. Ah simple pleasures. I would swear they have gotten louder these days though.

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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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