It was a long weekend for we peeps here in Australia this past weekend. We celebrate the Queens birthday… no where near her birthday I might add.
When I was young, this weekend was THE weekend of the year. We’d have bonfires, fireworks and a general meeting of neighbours. It was in the age when neighbours talked to each other.
Way back then I lived in Shalvey in the Western Suburbs of Sydney in community housing (yeah we weren’t very well off) and the houses on the other side of our street backed onto a creek area. Most of our neigbours on that side had gates into the reserve area of the creek.
For a period of about two weeks we’d cart barrow loads of wood (and other combustable items) through these fence gates and build a massive pile that on “Cracker Night” would result in a fire of massive proportions.
Everyone would bring a bag of fireworks, which back then could be purchased everywhere, even the local newsagent used to sell Throwdowns at their front counter, and we’d have one of the best nights of the year. The ten shooters were topped by someone elses twenty-five shooter, only to be put in its place by the fifty shooter. The pinwheels would be nailed to the fence and would whiz around in circles spraying sparks of colour.
The highlight of the evening was always the Parachuter Dash… a single shot and the little guy would be launched into the air, the parachute would open and the race would be on, which lucky kid would catch the elusive plastic prize. Occasionally the parachuter would be DOA, the parachute would fail to open, or would combust in a midair. Having a parachuter would make you one of the coolest kids on the block for a week.
Those were the days…
Photo here from Spike Reid on Flickr