Another milestone has passed. When my kids were little (like, tiny), and used to wake up (and us up) at 5 o’clock, it was a weekly ritual for us to traipse out to the front yard and wave at the bin man as he drove past in his big truck with the flashing orange light. It’s not something I particularly miss, but here’s a passing milestone that I do: the annual viewing of the Newcastle Show’s fireworks from our front verandah.

Neither of them even moved as the first Kaboom! rattled the window panes at 9.30 on Friday night.

On Saturday night I ventured out, alone, to get a few fuzzy snapshots. Low cloud reflected the reds and greens back down over Hamilton North. Freaked-out fruit bats chattered and circled around the Richardson Park fig trees and an acrid cloud of gunpowder drifted over the house. It’s a smell I love; it reminds of the spent shotgun cartridges that would rattle around in my dad’s jacket pocket after a windy, moonless night on the English moorland.

But that’s another story.

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