So, it's Bonfire Night again. As I'm writing this, the air outside is hazy and smells of explosives. All evening there have been bangs and whistles - if you were in a less stable country, you'd think there was a war going on.
I've never lit anything more powerful than a sparkler, and of course these days we're discouraged on health and saftey grounds from even doing that. In any case, I'm not sure how people manage these days without milk bottles...
My sister, her husband and her father-in-law have a shop near to where I live. They sell fireworks at this time of year, and what they don't sell her father-in-law uses for a late display, along with some more "professional" pyrotechnics that he gets from his supplier, but isn't allowed to sell to the punters. I'm talking about the sort of thing that you're expected to set off using some kind of electronic detonator. When you're taking cover half a mile away. I haven't been to one of his displays for years, but the image of him lighting these things in his back garden with his cigarette and then legging it is something you don't easily forget. The spectators also had to run when rockets didn't go in the expected direction. Luckily his house is several hundred yards away from the nearest neighbour.
These days, I'm content to watch other people dicing with death from the comfort of my home. Helena and I spent a few evenings photographing them - the results of which are in the picture above.
I wonder whether they'll still be letting of fireworks in another 402 years? And if they are, whether they'll remember anything about why?