Thursday 6 November 2008

Remember, rememeber

Last night I was waiting for a bus at North Greenwich station (as I do nearly every evening) and watching fireworks light up the sky (there's a very panoramic view of much of the Borough's of Greenwich and Newham waiting there). "How lovely", I thought to myself, "that the UK are celebrating the new US President". It took me some moments to come to the conclusion that as the 5th November it might be Guy Fawkes Night (aka Bonfire Night) that was being celebrated.

I've never been much of a fan of fireworks. As a small child I didn't like the noise, and as I've got older I just cant' see the point of spending all that money - unless you go to a really splendid organised display. As a pet owner for many years I also dislike the distress that they cause to animals. The thing I like the least is the trend in recent years for fireworks to stretch through the Autumn from Diwali (which can fall up to two weeks before Guy Fawkes night) to New Years and even beyond.

Every year we hear about the terrible accidents that have been caused by carelessly used fireworks. Every year I put up with fireworks at anti-social times of day and night. Every year I wonder why there is no apparent attempt to enforce the law with regards to fireworks. Yes, there is a law. You may not set-off fireworks between 11pm and 7am except on a number of exempted days (5th November, Diwali, New Year and Chinese New Year).

I wonder how many of the fireworks being set off on and around the 5th November this year were done with any thought as to why? It is my long held belief that anyone wishing to purchase fireworks for the 5th November should be asked what it is, precisely, that they are commemorating. That would cut down the pops, the whizzes and the bangs!

As for me, well, I manage a good few free displays courtesy of my neighbours through my bedroom window every year.

Remember, remember the fifth of November; gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder and treason should ever be forgot...