Saturday, 7 November 2009

Delta winning hand

Well, I've been playing poker and listening to Black Sheep Boy, which is enough excuse, however contrived, for the title.

The Sage is home safely after a successful trip and we've had another firework party, this time a family one. We didn't have a guy either time, in fact. Next year we'll have to introduce to the grandchildren the full weirdness of making a model of a man and burning him in commemoration of a failed attempt to blow up Parliament several hundred years ago. Nice. Odd, the traditions that hold.

When Ro was a child, the village fĂȘte used to have a children's fancy dress party. I can't say that we are normally imaginative in this respect, but we used to put a lot of effort into this and Ro won it every time. One year, I remember, he dressed as a scarecrow and another as a chimney sweep. It was easy - all we had to do was strip some clothes off his complaining father's back, dress Ro in them and bingo! - a winning scruffbag. I can't remember other costumes, but anything involving dressing down came naturally to us.

Tonight, Phil cooked chilli and brought it and Al brought home potatoes for me to bake in the Aga. We had the chilli first, in bowls as we sat round the bonfire, then Al and Weeza took charge of the fireworks. They were mostly child-friendly ones, colourful but not too noisy, but one was called Witch's Cauldron and this startled us considerably with a loud boom and all the coloured lights shooting out rather sideways. There was a moment's shocked silence from all of us, and then Phil moved the baby's pushchair further away from the fireworks. A sheep baa-ed in the field the other side of the church. Zerlina cried, but she was only taken aback. Not frightened, oh no of course not.

Everyone but the fireworkers ate their potato outside, and we handed Weeza and Phil theirs at the end of the display. They came and ate them indoors. After a few minutes, Weeza pointed out that eating a baked potato out of the hand plain and unadorned by even butter or salt felt a bit - well, 19th century Irish was her description. Dilly opened a bottle of wine and all was well again.

11 comments:

Marion said...

Sounds like good family fun. We don't have any bonfire celebrations. Fireworks at New Year of course. As a matter of fact, we have an outdoor burning ban as we live in a heavily forested area which is now covered in deep, dry leaves

luckyzmom said...

Guy Faulks day, right? Love, love fireworks. And I loved making costumes for my kids for Halloween. My favorite was the first when my daughter was just a toddler and I dressed her as a garbage bag, but, everyone thought she was suppose to be a big black pumpkin!

Z said...

Traditionally. the time for fireworks was always 5th November over here, although it's spread outwards, to the displeasure of people who have small children kept awake and easily frightened pets. My dog Chester was afraid of loud noises and always needed to come and be close to me. He'd sit pressed against my leg trembling, pretending it was all right.

That's brilliant LZM! Is she the LZ you're M of? Pugsley was dressed as a pumpkin this Halloween.

Dandelion said...

I didn't know you had a gambling habit. But I can see how the title thing might encourage you to develop one.

Loving the fireworks story. Oh, and the pumpkin! Any pics?

Dave said...

I'm sure if I were an Irishman in the middle of the 19th century I'd have been delighted to have a baked potato.

Z said...

I didn't take any I'm afraid. They went to a party at their cousins' house.

I'm not any sort of a gambler, though I like poker. When the boys lived at home and we played poker, we kept a big tin of change, shared it out at the start and then pooled it again at the end.

I think Weeza was referring to the time before the Famine Dave, when there were unblighted potatoes to be had.

Eddie 2-Sox said...

Impressive as big public fireworks displays are (and King's Lynn put on an absolute corker this year, well done The Council!), tiny family displays seem better to me. Yours sounds delightful, and Sam and me thoroughly enjoyed letting a few off outside the back of the flats on Tuesday.

I think it's all part of the building happy childhood memories thing.

Z said...

When I was a child we didn't have family fireworks since the time my sister was chased round the kitchen garden by a wayward Catherine Wheel. But the Sage's father's birthday was 5th November (so they always had fireworks. I agree with you on that, my children are very nostalgic about bygone firework parties and all three of them were here last night.

Completely Alienne said...

Our parents used to take us to the fireworks displays put on by the Marines on the Lines and Royal School of Military Engineering near the Dockyard (I grew up in Chatham) - after that kind of experience I suspect a home firework might have been a bit of a let down.

Four Dinners said...

Used to love having 'banger wars' as a kid....how nobody lost an eye is a miracle!!!

A large rocket stick fell in my garden as I fed the Cats Protection cats in the Cat Palace at the bottom of the garden. Missed my head by inches. Oddly...none of the cats in the Palace gave a monkeys about the fireworks....

luckyzmom said...

Yes.