I’m in the fortunate, or unfortunate – depending on your point of view – position of being situated in an elevated position. I don’t mean that I’m lording or over the lesser minions beneath me – I think I’d be hard pushed to actually find any lesser minions, to be honest – what I mean is that I live at the top of a hill.
That has its disadvantages, which I’ve had occasion to write about before, but it also has its plus side too. I have great views that extend perhaps some 220° across from my rear windows, and during the winter this vista is increased even more as the trees shed their cloak of concealing leaves, allowing me an uninterrupted view across the city and the estuary beyond from my desk.
One unexpected benefit is that, come the beginning of November, I can reap the benefit of half the inhabitants of the town’s fireworks when Guy Fawkes night comes around. No spending a fortune on Roman Candles, rockets and starbursts for me – if other people have money to burn, then I’m more than content to let them do so, whilst I can share in the festivities from my lofty perch, and moreover, from the comfort of a warm living room, rather than standing outside in the cold, while the alpha male of the family authoritatively orders everyone to stand fifteen metres back, whilst struggling to light the damp blue touch paper by the fitful illumination provided by his mobile phone.
I’m not a huge fan of fireworks, to be honest – they’re pretty, but nothing special. Having worked backstage in the theatre, I tend to be umimpressed by most pyrotechnics, having set off louder and more impressive explosions myself in my heyday – there are few things more satisfying than blowing up a maroon in a milk churn, or discharging a Colt 45 in an unfurnished stairwell! The days when I used to be both thrilled and terrified by fireworks are long gone. I have rather less than wonderful memories of heading down to the local Round Table fireworks’ display, where I’d stand, pressed up against my parents, unable to see most of what was going on, thanks to the throng around me, and not particularly enjoying the explosions which had much the same effect on me at the time as thunder. (As you can tell from my previous admission, that’s no longer the case!). About the only enjoyable thing about the whole event was the smell of the hotdogs – although we could never afford to actually buy one!
Far more fun, were the family firework nights, when we’d have a bonfire, pool our meagre boxes of Standard fireworks for a night of entertainment that was more thrilling as a result of the imminent danger of somebody getting decapitated by an errant Catherine Wheel, or – heaven forbid – grabbing the wrong end of a recently spent sparkler, than the actual pyro’s themselves! We’d feast on jacket potatoes and hot soup, before heading back indoors to defrost, only to rush back outside again when the neighbours started setting off their far superior stock of rockets!
I think the last home firework display we had was when proper ‘display’ fireworks first came on the scene, although not widely available, and I managed – at great expense – to get my hands on a couple. I should have known better when the instructions advised to stand at least 25 metres aways (tricky in a 10 metre garden), and to bury the mortars in soil to at least 6 inches deep. Ah, the folly of youth… My parents, and local fire brigade, were somewhat unimpressed!
However, I am a bit of a fan of virtual fireworks. I first came across these in the Venice sim a good few years back and spent a wonderful New Year’s Eve there with my SLignificant other at the time, and it was a place that came to be a favourite of mine. I was determined that, one day, when I possessed a patch of virtual land I could call my own, I too would have fireworks to rival Venice. And so, that’s exactly what I did! Ever since, on a few days of the year, I’ve indulged myself with my own carnival of light and noise, but until now I’ve never really shared them with anyone. Then, this year, I extended an invitation to some of my friends to come along, and what a wonderful time we had – not just because of the fireworks, but it was a lovely evening of socialising and sharing too.
It just goes to show that even inworld, you don’t necessarily have to go exploring or hunting for good times – sometimes they’re right on your doorstep.
Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire, yeah
The Doors – Light My Fire