In an effort to avoid spending the whole weekend studying Greek, and to make sure we caught up with friends before their son grew up too much, we spent the majority of the long weekend down in Canberra.
I still remember those childhood fireworks nights: the bucket of sand and bucket of water handy, the anticipation, the sparklers. Being told not to touch the sparkler when it was still orange, as it would be very hot.
It didn’t occur to me that it would still be hot for a long while afterwards, so I tested the theory. I missed a few of the fireworks that year, with my mildly burnt fingers under the cold tap. After that, I watched that year’s fireworks from inside the house.
It’s been a lot of years since it was legal to have backyard fireworks in Sydney, but in Canberra, it’s still okay. Though Sydney manages to put on a fairly spectacular show each new years, there’s something about being close enough to feel your eyes sting that takes you back to childhood.
This time, though, I remembered not to touch the sparkler after it had burnt out.