So it turns out that the thing that I thought was a part of a coffee machine (and spent fairly considerable lengths of time in trying to locate the rest of it so I could increase my already high caffeine intake) is, in fact, a part of the vacuum cleaner.
I'm going to gloss over the fact that I wasn't too worried about not having a hoover.
Having now got one (but still missing a good coffee maker) I gave it to the boys and let them lose in the car. I feel we had a constructive afternoon; the car is no longer a health hazard and the boys have a new love. Long may it last.
While I'm at it, the latest British Mummy Bloggers Carnival is up at NixdMinx, get over there!
And if I'm in a bossy mode and telling you to go places (just be pleased I haven't waved a hoover in your face), have a look at the Great Toy Guide for reviews of toys written by real Mums having actually let their children lose at them. We contribute occasionally, and, you can be assured, my boys can give the toys a real testing.