Saturday, 1 November 2008
Wake Me Up !
I have just returned from a very rainy fireworks session. Great spectacle, huge effort, donated weapons and brilliant bonfire - BUT - who's had the bang out of the fireworks ? I've long been an enthusiastic fan of explosions and have developed a fine sense of what works - BIGGER BANGS. It seems that the Eurobureau have pulled even harder on the restrictions lever in an attempt to take the bang out of your firework. I've struggled in vain to get hold of the good old 75mm titanium maroon that was for years the mainstay of any Diplo display - in fact mortar style charges have been taken from us entirely. A shortened launch tube of around 14 inches would restrict the flight to some 100 feet or so ensuring that the blast's primary shock wave could render a devastating blow at ground level, the sharp slap to the top of the head and the visceral shudder in the diaphragm can catch out the unwary and I have seen people fall to the floor, rendered breathless for a few seconds. When you've acclimatised yourself it is possible to fight reflexes and keep the eyes open, you will be rewarded with the whitest, sharpest, purest light imaginable, quiet rural night is briefly turned to day and every shape, profile, branch and tree is seared onto your retina to be enjoyed for several minutes after the event. On a dampish but clear night it is possible to see the shock wave in the form of an expanding ring of compressed, condensing vapour. A volley of 12 maroons or more can leave one feeling quite exhausted and I would recommend a break of a few minutes. The largest mortar we have enjoyed was of 7 inch diameter, the launch charge alone was enough to sink the 200mm o/d gas pipe launching tube a foot into the ground and knock glasses off the table 50 yards away, standing next to it was thrilling and surprisingly warm - the following report at about 200 feet was followed by the most spectacular, ever expanding, circle of gold fire. This glow filled the sky to the horizon and fell like a blanket to cover the whole assembly of open mouthed, bleeding eared, and shocked spectators. I fear that such evenings are going to be thin on the ground under new regulations. MORE BLAST !