Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day 2.350: It was a cracker!

New York readers may be surprised to hear that, not only is it legal for British residents to buy and set off fireworks in their own gardens (yards), but it is traditional to buy them and set them off at the Christmas dinner table.

OK, they may not be fireworks exactly, but gunpowder is involved.  The items in question are Christmas Crackers - a tube containing a small explosive device, a paper hat, a small gift and a joke (or motto) printed on a small piece of paper.

Exile #2 made some this year - not being easy (or even, perhaps possible) to acquire here.  Unfortunately they were explosive-free.  They did, however, have much better gifts inside than the normal cracker fare - specially selected for each of us, along with the colour of the hats.  This small bird was in mine.  It identified itself on the accompanying card as an 'Andean Bird Warbler' and has having been 'Handcrafted in Peru'.  Surprisingly, the instructions said to fill it three-quarters full of water before blowing into the tail.  Let's just say that the result was surprising, and then let you see and hear for yourself - as re-enacted just a few moments ago.

Today we stayed home and watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on DVD (one of Exile #3's gifts). The weather forecast had predicted an ice-storm, so we hadn't planned an outing. In the end we had a thick covering of sleet (ice pellets) and then a little rain - so we could have ventured out. Tomorrow maybe!

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