…Today was the night of the fireworks.
There were loads going off near us, and they still are.
There are also students everywhere messing about with them – typical.
Of course we didn’t have any fireworks, we never do…
This withering remark wasn’t entirely true. One year we did have fireworks, but they were pathetic. We only had about three, and two of them were rockets which flew up into the sky and out of sight. The third was some sort of fountain that sat on the ground, ejaculating sadly.
Sparklers were more ubiquitous. We had them a few years’ running when I was of primary school age, and I remember feeling very grown up the first time I was allowed to hold one myself, as opposed to having it held for me. It was the sound as much as the light that fascinated me.
This has come to prove something of a motif for my life, as I must have heard at least 10 times as many firework displays as I have actually seen.
One year, when I was living in Liverpool, a rocket let off during a display at the nearby Mersey TV studios to mark the 20th birthday of Brookside was so loud it cracked one of my living room windows.
Another year in Liverpool I went to watch the display in Sefton Park and ended up being more moved by the soundtrack (it ended with Freddie Mercury’s Barcelona) than anything else.
Perhaps fireworks are always better heard and not seen. They certainly make for a stunning addition to this, one of the greatest pop records ever made.