Tuesday, March 3, 2009

No fireworks, but a fire memorial

We arrived last Saturday night back at the festival for the fireworks, as duly promised to the LGBB. After a ride on the "Round-round" (that's what she calls ferris wheels) with Mummy and Aunty Nic, we took our places with the gathering crowd down at the edge of the sports field.

What we were greeted by was a most poignant and fitting tribute to the many lives lost (and threatened) in the recent spate of fires across our state. We stood in the crowd as people cheered, cried, clapped and called out their "THANK YOU"s to the hundreds of volunteer men and women, decked out in their fire fighting gear, who streamed on to the cricket field where they usually hold the annual fireworks display (a highlight of the festival).

I couldn't help myself. I cried as I stood there, listening to the facts being recited by the MC from the middle of the pitch. The fireys all stood silently, flame torches lit. And as we were asked to observe a minute's silence, they extinguished their flames. Out of the silence came...

"Whassat over there? Where the fire gone?" from the LGBB, confused by the sudden lack of talking from her aunty (who was holding her). I turned and gave her a warm, gentle "shhhhh" and a smile while Aunty Nic explained we had to be quiet "just for a minute." Cue Lolly tenderly placing a pudgy-fingered hand on my shoulder and whispering, " 'sokay, Mummy", giving me a bit of a patronising pat and then leaving her warm hand there. It was so darling. And it made me spill a few more tears.

When they mentioned our town in the list of places that had been affected recently, the LGBB squealed out (and forgive me for not plastering the name here, I'll call it Toon Town), "Toon Town!! Oh, yay, Toon Town!" because we've just started explaining to her where we live. She loves the name of the place so much, she asked if we could go there. Erm, well yes.... we can. Ta-da!

(It reminds me of the time when my little brother, on seeing a Victorian Tourism ad on the telly, made the adamant statement that "Victoria looks like a nice place for a holiday. Less go there!" and my mother had a similar tricky concept to try and explain on her hands)

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