With all this talk of Canada Day and 4th July, one thing that cannot be missed are fireworks.
Fireworks are something that I really quite hate, to tell the truth. Well it is not fireworks themselves, it is just people with fireworks.
The people of the town I live in seem to be addicted to them. Our big excuse for a firework display in the UK is 5th November, Guy Fawkes night, where we celebrate the failure of a bomb plot to kill our King. We shoot off fireworks and burn "Guys" (an effigy of the poor Mr Fawkes who was not burned in reality, but was hung drawn and quartered instead). Fine.
The trouble is, shops start selling fireworks to anyone who looks old enough from around mid-September, so we get teenagers shooting off rockets and letting off small bombs from then onwards. This is what I really object to. Has no one realised that these things are dangerous? Every year we hear about the nasty injuries that kids have suffered when something has exploded in their face or hand. If someone had just invented them and wanted to put them in shops there is NO WAY they would be allowed to do it, is there? The only ones that have been banned are some big Chinese bombs that were blowing hands off! Organised displays are OK, but putting them in the hands of teenagers is insane (as Terri's video clip clearly demonstrated). Maybe there should be some sort of license?
November 5th comes and goes and the shops still stock fireworks. Why? Christmas is coming! Yes, they have taken to having private firework displays on Christmas Day and then New Years Eve too - if World War 3 broke out at midnight 31 December no one would be able to tell! And of course, this means that the teenagers are still able to buy them too, so we get gangs of DRUNK teenagers setting off rockets etc.
I must admit that I do take the kids to displays. There is a great one on the seafront each summer that we go to, grabbing some snacks and drinks on the way and then finding a good view point for the event. At least it is usually warm!
At the last town we lived in the closest display was organised by the school that the kids went to. Sophie was always terrified of fireworks, but each year she would insist on going, with the routine going something like this:
- The evening is absolutely freezing cold (November in the UK is not nice) so we wrap up really warm.
- A brisk walk of around a mile to the school, pay to get in (it raised funds for the school), grab a hot dog and drink each and look for a good spot.
- The start of the display is delayed for half an hour for some reason, so we freeze a bit more. Maybe a bit of icey rain adds to the joy of the occasion.
- Whoosh, BANG!
- Sophie jumps out of her skin and says she wants to go home.
- We go home.
She must have been 14 before she could sit through a display, even then with big fluffy ear muffs and a thick hood done up tight.
So I am looking forward to the summer display on the beach, but not to the approach of Autumn and the general availability of explosives in the shops!