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 fête 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.