Fireworks have become like a war zone for pets and wildlife
Bonfire night has come and gone in a cloud of smoke with everyone's hard-earned cash having gone up in flames leaving a trail of rocket sticks, traumatised pets and jangled nerves.
I am a great believer in organised community events where people are brought together to enjoy each other’s company - and Guy Fawkes Night is no exception - but garden and backyard firework displays should be banned.
Driving home over the last few nights has felt like I was running the gauntlet through war-torn Fallujah, flinching at every intermittent bang and whiz.
Trying to settle into an evening’s TV has been further disrupted by repeated cracks and volleys which can easily be compared to the sound of military ordnance and mortar fire.
It all puts me on a bit of a knife’s edge and I cannot help but worry about people’s poor pets who are repeatedly left trembling during this period which seems to begin earlier and end later every year.
I recall a much-loved, childhood pet dog called Shelley who was absolutely terrified during late October and early November and can only think her trauma is typical of what so many other pets and their owners are having to suffer.
It really can be heartbreaking to see your pet shaking, hiding and losing control night-after-night during bonfire season. And goodness knows how other wildlife cope every year with the banging and a night sky lit up with flashes like anti-aircraft flak echoing the bombing raids of the Blitz.
And particularly at this time of Remembrance, why not spare a thought for our elderly war veterans who have been subjected to the real thing and have to sit through a chorus of blasts and whistles not too dissimilar to the sounds of German Stuka dive-bombers dropping their payloads?
So would it not make sense for us to simply visit organised events on just one night of the year in the middle of nowhere without spreading this kind of fall-out with so much financial loss and collateral damage?
No doubt, plenty of you rushed to get the best rockets to keep up with your neighbours and perhaps in an effort not to miss out, which brings me to my final quick, gripe this week.
It appears an unhealthy anxiety is gripping the nation so much so it has even earned itself a place in the Oxford English Dictionary. FOMO, or a Fear Of Missing Out, described as a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent and it is characterised by a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing.
So as our next big red-letter day creeps up with the festive season nearly upon us, I urge you all to hold your nerve, moderate your spending, eating, drinking, socialising, and consuming and spend a little less time trying to keep up with the Joneses. Good luck!