I believe I do have a timeline of events that you might find illuminating.
While playing a round of charades, Deborah calls the rest of the family “spaniels” for deliberately avoiding the correct guess, even though she had already revealed the answer accidentally.
The family each rip up the hat that they get from their cracker, although Alex has to first be reminded to do so.
Instead of Christmas pudding, Deborah has half a scotch egg.
At one point during the call, Alex tells Toby to let their dog, Oswald, out.
He explains that a crocodile has strong muscles for closing its jaw but only weak ones for opening it. He claims that the tattoo is to remind him that strength depends on how you measure it.
His daughter, Toby is hostile to the idea of fishing and confronts him as he arrives in. Russ explains that he doesn’t actually use a hook, so all he is really doing is “fish feeding”.
After Toby leaves, Russ and Alex talk more about Russ’ pretend fishing. Apparently, Cliff doesn’t know that Russ deliberately doesn’t catch fish. He just thinks that Russ is bad at fishing, which he enjoys teasing him about.
Alex recites a version of the rhyme that goes well beyond the traditional seven, culminating in the revolution of the magpies and the beginning of the thousand-year age of magpies.
With mock shame, Russ reveals to Toby that Alex used to be in a sketch group.