Remembrance Day

Fireworks and Poppies

So it’s been a pretty eventful little while since I last wrote, but my lack of updating can be attributed to the UBER VIRUSY SPYWARE I picked up when I downloaded an episode of Heroes last week. It was a .rar file whose extraction turned out to be unleashing Pandora’s Box onto my hard drive, redirecting all my web searches to porn sites and closing down every program seconds after I opened it. Luckily though, my dad’s pretty nifty with computers, and whisked it away last night, fixed it all and I’ll be getting it back tonight good as new. My dad is awesome.

Last week shortly after the election we had Guy Fawkes Day, a time of year which finds me feeling awfully nostalgic for the one day of the year where thousands of people gather together in cities all over England, marching around with torches, candy floss and sparklers, burning huge great effigies of Guy Fawkes on bonfires and marvelling as enormous fireworks displays light up the skies. It’s not done this side of the pond. And the last few years I’ve made a few efforts to have some sort of Guy Fawkes magic…

Fail

But for the first time this year… we bought fireworks. Unfortunately you have to have a permit to set off any of the big ones that go up into the sky, but we got HUGE sparklers, things that fizzed and banged and The Fountain. We were assured we were only being sold ones that would stay pretty low to the ground and wouldn’t make any noise, so we wouldn’t have to worry about drawing attention to ourselves. We saved the big one for last, expecting a nice little colourful fountain of sparks, which we definitely got… for the first five seconds. Then it went up about seven feet high, sparking and banging as big as a bonfire, and WHISTLING louder than I’ve ever heard a firework whistle in my life. Neighbours started coming out of their houses to see what was going on. We couldn’t stop it, so we waited it out… but I can definitely say that was about as much fun as you can have at 9:00 on a November evening for less than $4. 🙂

Win!

This week was also Remembrance Day. Sweet and I went to the service at the Convention Centre – I’d never gone to one with anyone else before, but we went and I was really happy to see so many people turn out to pay their respects. I’m always deeply moved by Remembrance Day services and I really think it’s important to take the time, even if you don’t go to a service, just to take a few minutes of silence at 11:00 to think about those who went and fought, wives that lost their husbands, soldiers who lost their friends… families that had to go through such an awful time, and all for the freedom so many of us take for granted today. I wept the whole service, thinking of those who spent night after night in the cold and the rain in battle, praying for the days a letter from their loved ones would arrive… Today we text, and we call, and we e-mail so easily and so often; it’s so hard to imagine going weeks and weeks before a treasured page of kind words and thoughts and news from afar would arrive. And yet with the ease of communication technology has afforded us, it seems we tell each other less, not more, how much we care about each other. So in the spirit of Remembrance Day just past, I hope if you’re reading this, you can take a moment to think about how it must have been to spend such treacherous time apart from your most beloved, how joyous it must have been to hear a few words of love after weeks of knowing nothing, and just be thankful for everything we have today.