Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Bastille Day

Today is the 14th July, the day when France celebrates a symbolic event in the formation of the nation: the storming of the Bastille. Sorry if my blog is starting to sound like a catalogue of musical events, but we did a celebration concert last night, finishing with fireworks. No more concerts until September, I promise!

On the subject of fireworks, my thoughts turn to a firework display I saw years ago at the end of a rowing regatta at Marlow, not far from High Wycombe, where I used to live.

We had had a lot of the usual rockets, whizzz-bangs, etc, lighting up the sky with rainbow colours, all the normal stuff. And then they let off a firework that was quite strange by comparison. All it did was create a large, vertical rugby-ball-shaped space (perhaps 6 or 7 metres high) containing nothing but flashing white fires that winked in and out of existence, and tiny white sparkly Catherine wheels that must have been on little parachutes because they were suspended in the air. Pretty, but a bit ordinary?

Then in a flash I saw the universe evolving in a God's-eye view, the spiral galaxies whirling their lives away in seconds, stars being born, living and dying in the blink of an eye. If I said that time stood still, I'd be wrong because technically, it was speeded up. But you know what I mean.


Lia said...

I never thought of fireworks in that way before. I have seen displays all over the World and people are always the same about it where ever you are.
People are just in awe of them and I have often wondered why, may deep down we are all having the same reaction as you.

I use to tell the children that when a firework went off it was fairies being born.

You look very nice in your suit, by the way.
Much love,
Lia xx

Tim Trent said...

Bastille Day has a different meaning for me. You might want to pop over to see what I mean

Cogitator said...

I popped over... I like your meaning, too.

Jonathan said...

Living in England this nearly passed me by but the support act this evening, Les Folies, comprised a charming female duo singing French chansons accompanied by squeezebox and occasional guitar. Bastille Day was alluded to and I like to think the red wine I drank was somehow connected but I confess I forgot until I got home and read your post. Is it as big a deal in France as St George's Day is in England?

Cogitator said...

Jonathan, it's a seriously Big Day, with fireworks and celebrations in every major (and most minor) towns and villages. St Suzanne has only 5,000 people and had a whole evening of fête.

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