It may be that there is another reason why New Year fireworks came in three different salvos on Saturday night. I certainly hope so.
But then why else would they light up the sky at 10pm and 11pm, before their traditional manifestation at midnight?
On the town forum, someone claimed to have the answer. Ten o’clock UK time is midnight in Latvia and Lithuania, he explained. When the sky lights up at 11pm, it will be the town’s Polish community striking the matches.
I must stress that I am yet to see this theory corroborated but should it be valid, what does it say about the mindset of many long-term visitors to our shores?
I always try to put myself in the other person’s shoes in such circumstances, but it’s not helping in this instance. Were I living abroad and someone asked if I would calibrate my New Year’s celebration to my native land, I would look at him as if he were mad. I might ‘phone home’ when midnight struck in the UK, but it would seem the most logical thing in the world to hitch my principal celebration to the time zone in which I now lived. This is my home now, after all, would be my reasoning. These are my people. If I can’t integrate to the point of syncing my New Year with theirs, I might begin to wonder what I was even doing there in the first place.
So much for my view. It now appears, at least, that it might not have much traction elsewhere. If that is indeed the case, what a sad comparison it offers between America on the one hand, so many of whose fiercest patriots came from overseas to invest fully in the American Dream, and Britain on the other; apparently a dormitory town on a national scale. Just somewhere to hang your hat in between pay cheques.
Someone tell me there’s another explanation…