4th July 2022

I grew up having notion what it was to celebrate my nations independence, when you have been free for all but a millennium the need to boast of the accomplishment shrinks somewhat. The only occasion, discounting religious observations, remarkable for its national celebration is the 5th of November, which also involves commemorative bonfires, fireworks, feasting and much merriment.

To explain the historic, political, and social ramifications of the events of that transpired that early morning the 5th of November 1605 is a matter far better dealt with through rigorous self-education, for those facts whilst seeming plain enough can in no way convey the continuing import of the legacy.

When I was a lad every British family, inclusive of all religious and class groupings, would build a bonfire to incinerate an effigy of Guido Fawkes to mark the setting if the sun, and the expunging of Guys wholly unpopular ideals, to be followed by lavish firework displays, outdoor feasts, all conducted in a carnival like atmosphere. Such gatherings well predated any health and safety concerns, so such blazes, bangs, cascading streams of sparks, jumping jacks and rocketing flares were astonishingly close to hand.  In hind sight perhaps more of a celebration of independence than first appears, but quite impersonal, subtle, suggested rather than overstated, and by public insistence rather than national decree.   

A particularly British kind if understatement.

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