Can life get more heavenly if you are male and under 5? All week the road outside our house has been being bulldozed, dug-up, squashed, stones added, flattened, tarmacked and smoothed. Gone are the disintegrating cobbles with their irritating potholes and dustpatches and in its place has appeared is a sleek, smooth road. Enormous machines have been working hard all week to complete their tasks.
We, on the other hand, have not been working hard at all. Instead we grabbed a sandwich and a couple of packs of Smokis and have spent large amounts of time in the afternoons camped out under a tree watching the action. Armed with a Richard Scary book that talks about making a road, we've watched the whole process from start to finish.
By the end of the week not only were we providing most of the workmen with coffees (I tried to give them a decent cup of tea but they were having none of it), but the boys had been invited up onto a few of the machines to have a go. They pressed buttons, they moved the steering wheel. They even got a decent go at the beeping the horn until I couldn't take it any longer. Needless to say, they were thrilled, absolutely eye poppingly, grin until your head might split in two thrilled. The chance to drive a real digger, help build a real road. What a treat.
Now they've finished I've had to come up with some new afternoon activities. So yesterday we shambled down to the train tracks to pick some blackberries and coincided with the arrival of the only train of the afternoon. Within minutes the engine driver had hopped down and the next thing I knew the boys were being shown how to drive the train. There are times that I love the less than strict enforcement of the health and safety laws here which gives little boys a chance to do stuff they could only dream of.
They've now decided that they would like to try being astronauts next so if I could just find where the local space programme is then we could go and have a go next week.