Thursday, January 01, 2009
revelation, fireworks, generation
White paint peeling from a black drainpipe.
Neighbours join us to see the New Year in. Just before midnight we switch on BBC 1 to watch the fireworks over the Thames with the big wheel at the centre of the display. The event is dramatic and accompanied by looks of wonderment and joy on the faces of spectators on the Embankment. But as we see it on television, those awful word "shock and awe" come to mind, and the rockets and explosions in the night sky remind us of other explosions and rockets of a more sinister and horrible kind. The cruelty of human beings is not far away, as one year drifts into another.
On a park bench, two grandparents are taking to a little girl and her mother. "If you like the Harry Potter books, may be one of these days you'll feel like reading the Hobbit," says the grandfather. You get the impression that the Hobbit is something as old and "classical" as Dickens seemed to us when we were young. To the grandparent, who overhears this conversation as he passes by, the Hobbit seems to have been on every child's lips only the other day.