Ooh. Aah.

If anyone is expecting a post relating to a French footballer most noted for kung-fu and elliptical musings about seabirds following trawlers, they should go to the back of the class now.  If I didn’t strongly suspect it had been outlawed, I would be preparing conical headwear emblazoned with the letter associated with (Walter) Mitty for their use (D for Mitty?).

They would have made two mistakes, the second being the metronome setting they imagined as they read the title.  They would have been thinking allegro (and staccato) whereas I was thinking largo (and legato).  However, despite the lapse into Italian this post does not relate to my illustrious singing career – though my vocal exercises do involve attempts to produce these two pure vowel sounds.

Quick reference to a calendar will reveal the true context for today’s title.  On Saturday evening last, I tramped up the hill to the north of Fish Towers in the fog – no, not to fetch a pail of water – to celebrate a failed attempt to violently overthrow the (admittedly repressive) government of these isles.  More recent attempts to remove the UK government by explosion have yet to attain a similar celebration – perhaps more time is needed?

Despite the damp, a roaring bonfire was in evidence (equally the match of the Great Fire of Sawston) – though no sign of anyone being burnt in effigy by the time I arrived.  We were also provided with a very full 30 minutes of fireworks – which is not bad for a free village display in these dire economic times.  The light from the higher flying fireworks was somewhat diminished by the fog, but the display still offered a large scale demonstration of the quantised nature of electron energy levels in the atom.  Very much the flame test of O-level chemistry writ large!  I do wonder if I was the only person at the display thinking this…

A small group, standing beside me, did say “Ooh” and indeed “Aah” as tradition dictates, though seemed worried that they were the only ones doing so.  They had also brought glasses and a bottle of rosé to the event – which showed excellent planning skills, though I would have thought a full-bodied red (or something mulled?) might have been more appropriate.  Is there a recommended wine to consume with fireworks?  The web seems to offer little guidance to those in search of such etiquette advice – perhaps I’ve found a niche?

The following day, I happened to catch the weather forecast on BBC Television.  This was given by a chap called Chris Fawkes – and, indeed, he was much in evidence on the following days.  Was his selection related to the events of November the 5th?  Did he have to be kept hidden in a secure location until 6/11 to avoid any “incidents”?  Or was he brought out in celebration of his infamous forebear’s failed insurrection?  Does the Met Office keep a range of “seasonal” weather presenters?  Was Michael Fish used on Fridays for any Catholic viewers?  I, for one, would have loved to hear the late, great Valentine Dyall offering his view of the weather to come in mid-February.  It might not have been romantic, but boy would it have had gravitas!

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