Last night I took the girls to the Llandrindod Wells Fireworks display. It's held at the end of Victorian Week (occasioanal person in a long dress carrying a Tesco's carrier bag) for tourists and locals alike.
Now, I'm not too sure why I went - apart from the fact that the girls had got wind of it and decided they fancied it. Then when I was telling people that we might go, I was saying that it seemed to be THE event of the year in Llandrindod, in that when I went before, all I could hear was, "Well, hello!" as people who hadn't spoken to each other since last Fireworks stopped for a chat. I had decided in my mind that although a fireworks display might not be the most ethical and essential thing in cash-strapped Britain, it was good for the community to all get together sometimes.
So we went, parking miles away, running around the lake in the dark, skidding on duck-shit as we went, trying to make it round to the big friendly crowd all saying, "well, hello!" Ashamed to say, I did buy them some plastic stuff that flashed, mainly to stop the girls getting stepped on.
The fireworks eventually started and a few people said, "Ooh," and "Aah," but then I remembered that when you've seen one firework, you've actually seen most of them. Although it was an impressive display, far better were the ones where the bloke and his biscuit tin got chased down a bank by a wayward rocket.
But there was something about it that was different than before. There were of course loads of people standing and filming the thing on their mobiles (Fourteen year old boys: you are not going to choose Firework Display to watch when you have the world on your phone - watch it in real time, then move on!) But I realised that no-one was talking, let alone saying, "Well, hello..."
Then I remembered that the Council have turned off most of the street lights, and so people couldn't see anyone... Unless someone stood on your toe /child, no-one was really saying much. I also remembered there were no lights when I dragged the girls on a short cut through the woods / brambles to get back to the car.
Maybe this year the toads / ducks / shopping trolleys in the lake got scared witless for no reason...