100th Birthday

Nicholas Quirke was excited to be at the centre of celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CCP on 1 July 2021 but to his dismay, though he went out onto the streets to join what he thought would be a throng, the roads were well and truly shut and whist there was a large police presence there where very few people ours on the street. He left the apartment just after 7.30 and he arrived at the top of the road just in time to catch the air display of helicopters flying banners and then in the formation of of the number 100 which was then followed by a fleet of jets leaving a coloured stream behind them. It was a simple but effective statement followed by a twenty one gun salute. He wanted to try and get closer to the action and he was continually redirected till he finally reached a point where he could go no further. He had been greeted by a local when he was watching the air show and to his amusement he kept seeing him at each location he went to. He hoped to hear something from Joy City, but when he finally got there after cyclising round many streets it was shut so he went home and watched the rest of the ceremony in Tiananmen Square on the television. What was actually really amazing to him was that from 50 members of the CCP that started in 1921 the monolith that is Morden China had grown. It seemed like it had been a long, difficult and hazardous journey that had bought them today and it was certainly an impressive one. The event was well stage managed but it was clearly a PR exercise in Beijing that left the people of the country on the outside which seemed a pity as with the large police presence blocking the roads they could have controlled instead the crowds wanting to be a part of it. He had a class that evening and by the time he left for the lesson the roads were easier to navigate. He was too late to find somewhere for tea but too early for his class and he decided to sit in the school and work there till his class. Once it was complete he sat and chatted with Lily till it was 10 past 4 and his students had still not appeared. He finally discovered that they were not coming and he had been misinformed about the class. It had also started to rain and he waited a further 20 minutes for the torrent to abate but as it showed no signs and the sky was getting darker he braved the wet streets, the thunder and lightning and scurried to the subway. When he got to Changchunjie it seemed even worse but he didn’t want to stand at the station waiting and he plunged himself into flooding streets to get home. When he reached the steps he usually took to get back he was alarmed to see they had turned into a waterfall. In his new mustard All Star’s he waded in and eventually and safely got home. He was cross about the class as not only had he got soaked but he wanted to see the new film 1921 about the formation of the CCP and he had had to decline a ticket for the most appropriate day and take one for the next day. The film they watched that evening couldn’t have been further away from the celebration of political supremacy which had dominated the day. ‘A Perfect Enemy’, was an interesting and unpredictable plot that kept him guessing. However, the central relationship was irritating and he felt on edge throughout the film. He suspected it the intention of the script and director to make the viewer experience that emotion but he didn’t enjoy being made to suffer in that way and that was not a good mood to go to sleep on.

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