Hello, readers

Last night, what involved the Southwark Fireworks Festival, proved the perfect distribution of eating, riding, walking, watching things blow up, walking some more, and riding home. Curry consumed at Shad, near London Bridge, which features beautiful glass plates, trimmed in red, that they promptly removed upon our ordering because, I guess, we did not order the special food that rewards the orderer with being able to keep the pretty, pretty plates. We rode the bus to the park, or close to the park, and then walked with a lot of people, passing down an alley, people hanging out the windows, watching the sky explode with light in configurations resembling spirals, willows, and hornets nests. I waved at some of the people. They did not wave at me. This makes sense because of the aforementioned sky exploding probably distracting them from the ten thousand people passing by and the one boy waving.

In the park, we stood under a tree, still holding onto a smattering of autumn leaves, and watched the pretty lights flashing in the sky, as well as those more earthbound shiny things a few hundred yards to our left what included a carousel and glittering, spinning, swing thing. They played Frozen during part of the fireworks. It reminded me of Vietnam and a boy who said he was so tired of that song and I asked him if he was tired of the song or people singing it and he said, people singing it. He said he actually liked the song. That’s the way of things. You like them, but say you don’t, because.

Someone asked about effigies. Someone in the comments yesterday, and also someone who was me, last night, before I even saw the comments, because effigies. Apparently, they don’t do them very much anymore, and not so much in giant public gatherings because fire bad, protest scary. Apparently, not too long ago, children pushed wheelbarrows around with unlit effigies in search of candy. Which helps explain why Hallowe’en was not that big in England considering they have children carrying around death figures every November 5th, so who needs pumpkins?

We went home by way of a long walk, three of us discussing school, Harry Potter, fandom, fairly rare and beautiful messes of hair and what’s to do be done with them, authors we love, authors we heard about once, authors that wrote whole books about a baseball.

It was a good night.

Happy effigies, readers.

Burn on1.


[1] Yes, that was horrible. Well spotted.

remember, remember

Hello, readers.

from Mirror (UK)

The Southwark Fireworks Display includes music, circuses of fire and light, food and drink stalls, and, so far as I can see, very little mention of what Bonfire Night in the UK (apparently it’s celebrated on different days for different reasons in different countries) actually refers to, which was remembering and remembering how on the fifth of November, erm, ing, during the gunpowder, treason, and plot, the King and Parliament survived being blown up and so celebrated by setting things on fire.

In the olden days, apparently, it was known as Gunpowder Treason Day and somehow or other attracted a very anti-Catholic sentiment during which, as Wikipedia puts it, Puritans gave sermons on the ‘dangers of popery’. Followed by children begging about town with effigies of Guy Fawkes (did they carry them like torches?) and so the day became known as Guy Fawkes day. Also, there were class riots.

Most of these things, readers, I’m not sure anyone remembers.

Now, it’s all about fireworks and things going boom.

The other night, at BFI Southbank, there was a showing of Brazil (introduced by Paul McAuley). In the film there was a scene in a restaurant in which a bomb goes off and there is much blood and horror, but everyone not directly affected goes on about their day doing their very best to ignore the bombs and the blood, the waiter even pulling a bamboo screen across the carnage so as to better allow his diners to ignore what was happening on the other side.

It felt very apropos to most of life, and I was scared that my life was mostly spent eating food at a table with a veil drawn across what I didn’t want to see. I would prefer to see, rather than not see, or so I tell myself, but I imagine this is what everyone tells themselves all the while some secret waiter, in some secret part of their mind, draws veils and curtains and shuts doors and whispers, “Oh, no, nothing to see, here, nothing worth remembering anyway.”

I will be at Southwark tonight, at the festival of fire and memory, and will report back on whether anything of note (anything worth remembering, that is) burns or explodes or otherwise adds a bit of dark magic to an evening.

Happy 5th of November, readers. Happy remembering.