We extended our holiday to take in the Bastille Day celebrations in the Loire Valley this year. Even when the family used to spend the summer in Normandy, I contrived to miss most 14 July celebrations, much to my regret ‘cos I love fireworks. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a march-past of Sapeurs Pompiers as much as the next man, and even a parade of children with lanterns doesn’t leave me unmoved. But it’s the feu d’artifice that crowns the evening!