Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Independence Day

Yesterday, the Fourth of July brought back wonderful memories of working with an American as we both taught in Rochdale. For a while we shared a classroom....which must have been puzzling for the children!
He intended to celebrate Independence in his own way and every year thought up some inventive solutions.
The celebrations always included booze of some sort naturally and as in those days I made my own country wine I always made sure of having some in the boot of my car!
About a week before the event my colleague asked me if I could spare a whole demijohn that year and could I let him have earlier than usual!
I took one in as requested and he set too. He was going to make it stronger than the usual country wine. Commandeering the science lab he erected a contraption designed to take off the water and make it into a much more potent drink.
A very interesting set of tubes was erected.
It was in effect a still!
Unfortunately the gas smell circulated along the corridor and the head threw a wobbly....it had to come down but the determined American hadn't given up!
Trays of wine were placed in the freezer. Every morning for a few days the thin layer of ice was removed from the top.
What was left bore no relation to elderberry wine....but it was very strong alcohol. I am not sure now how strong or even whether it was safe to drink.....but we did have a very jolly Independence Day!
I shudder now to think how we all got home on that day....ahem!



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