5.11.04

Remember the 5th of November


Remember, remember the fifth of November.
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

So here we are on the Fifth of November - Guy Fawkes Night - commemorating once more the foiled attempt to blow up the English Parliament during the official State Opening in 1605, and thereby kill, in one fell swoop, the unpopular King James VI and I and the whole Protestant establishment. Back in those days, homeland security was not what it is today, and underneath London - and directly underneath Parliament - there were a series of cellars that were for rent. One Guido Fawkes rented the cellar directly beneath Parliament's debating chamber, and proceeded to fill it up with barrels of gunpowder. His plot was foiled, however, and while Guy's neck was stretched, he did at least ensure his place in history. Now when the young nyaffs solicit a penny for 'the guy' (which is usually some old clothes filled with crumpled up newspapers with a burst football covered in a Hallowe'en mask for a head, completed with a baseball cap), they are asking you to contribute to their fireworks fund. The poor unfortunate 'guy' is destined for the top of the bonfire, where he is symbolically consumed by the flames of Hell, thus ensuring the Protestant ascendency and the defeat of religious tolerance (by the ensuing state condoned persecution of Catholics). Leaving the history aside, for very few people know why we light bonfires (or rather, attend officially organised and professionally run bonfires) and set off fireworks (or rather, watch officially organised and professionally run fireworks displays), Dundee City Council tend to put on quite a show. Every year the city council has two separate and simultaneous displays, and from my preferred vantage point atop the Law, it is possible to watch both. This is where Liam and I went tonight with Gavin and his charming son Callum. The display was superb, as always, and this time the weather was just perfect - clear, dry and mild. Gavin made me jealous with his D70. I felt inadequate and even more determined to jump on the DSLR bandwagon. I need to learn willpower. All evening I found myself repeating 'wait six months and the 300D will be half the price... wait six months and the 300D will be half the price...', whilst simultaneously telling Liam that he and Linda had better NOT get me the Canon 300D for Christmas, that we really can't afford to buy me a Canon 300D for Christmas, and that while I don't have a CANON 300D, my Fuji is a good little camera.

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