Thursday, 7 June 2012

Missing the Fireworks

I have vivid memories of the Queens birthday long weekend when I was a child.

It would start by following along  behind my dad to buy the family fire works…I remember the gunpowder smell in the shop and all the fireworks tantalizing displayed behind the glass with their faded package pictures and Chinese instructions. They had promising names like Bangers, Carnival Spray, Scarlet Fury and Star Hell! My brother and I would desperately be searching for our favorite…the parachute and beg out dad to get them. We were so  excited!

My dads ritual was to prepare the fireworks by lining them up and undoing the sticky tape that stuck the fuses on to the cardboard shell of the firework. I guess he did this to ease ignition in the dark later on.  He would also painstakingly separate each of the fireworks that were grouped together so that his money and our fun would go further. Knowing that we still had hours to wait before he set them off felt like torture!

I so clearly remember him chopping the firewood for our BBQ. I remember the smell and the crackle of the pale white pine wood that we’d have. Who could forget the taste of the charred sausages and marshmallows.

I remember the almost childish cheeky look in my dads face, his home rolled drum cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth as he ordered us to stand back in preparation for the explosions!

Off course the fountains and sparklers were fun, …but us kids really wanted those parachutes….as they were fired we would desperately try and follow the smoldering little plastic man launched high into the night sky by the fireworks. We’d hold onto those half burnt parachutes like our life depended on it.

These memories are special because my Father left when I was just 11 years old…

….But, all those memories are of a different time. Nowadays fireworks have been banned for safety reasons. Off course we have the mass displays for New Years and Canberra Day, but it’s just not the same I think.

Luckily, living in the ACT, we were able to share the experience of home fireworks with my girls when they were little. The ACT was still able to have fireworks up until a few years ago. When I looked at the excitement in my daughters faces, It felt like I was a child again myself. Their smiles, hands over the ears, anticipation.  Sharing the party atmosphere with neighbors and friends. Watching their brave Daddy go and light the fireworks. Just like my dad, I think GrumpyDaddy had just as much fun as the kids!

Unfortunately, I think my daughters would have be too young to remember, and they won’t get the chance to share the memories with their kids…..luckily I’ll have these photos to show them J

Buster and me


Flash, Muscles and family friends

Flash and her BFF 

Sharing my memories of fireworks over at Flog Your Blog friday at With Some Grace and the Aptly titled Flash Blog Friday at Twinkle in the eye.


  1. wow those photos are fab. No wonder you miss the fireworks :)

  2. I grew up in Canberra and have fond memories of fireworks nights as well. Lovely that you have these photos as treasured memories.

  3. Oh me too me too! I miss the fireworks on Queen's birthday weekend heaps. I actually wrote a post about this last year. I have the best memories of fireworks night in our backyard... and yes, the parachutes were our all time faves also. I remember my brothers and I going out the morning after and collecting all the shells and parachutists that had landed in trees in the dark etc... it was such a fun time.
    I always used to think how lucky Canberra were to be able to keep it going, but sad to know that you can no longer do it either. If only 'some' people hadn't been so silly with their usage of them, then maybe we'd all still get to enjoy them.
    Lovely pics and beautiful memories there xo

  4. What lovely memories. Fireworks are not banned in the UK (yet), but it's probably just a matter of time. I enjoyed all the happy smiling faces in your ‘photos, thanks for sharing them.

  5. I love to see children's faces at a firework display. Great shots.

  6. Hazardous happy memories! I remember the parachute men too. You will have your own special rituals that your kids will look back on fondly. Thanks for linking up with Twinkle in the Eye :-)

  7. Oh the memories...I miss them too...good times!!