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Saturday, August 16, 2014

It's all been downhill since the Devil's Dyke last weekend...

To be honest, I regret not asking Stefan, Andrew and Lisa to smile for the camera. We could have had a "Cheese!" and Am roll.


Anyhoo, it's been a slightly frustrating week of working, face-aching, and ordering conference supplies on the internet. I currently have 240 plastic folders sitting in our hallway, and I'm expecting a similar number of pads and pens to arrive next week. I've told Lisa they're for her birthday at the end of the month, so she's accepting the fact that she can't get to the front door past the boxes, on the assumption that she's getting a lot of presents.

As for my decrepit old body, I experienced a downturn in both my health and my mouth on Tuesday, so I spoke to my GP on Wednesday for reassurance that I wasn't dying from an acute cerebrovascular event, and then attended the Occupational Health appointment that was booked for me three weeks ago. That took place yesterday morning, and resulted in a nurse becoming the fourth medical expert in the past month to tell me that I'm overdoing it. She instructed me to take it easy. So I asked if she'd look after my children.

The good news is that having ignored her advice and headed straight up to Crowborough from the Occupational Health department, I arrived back in Brighton mid-afternoon, left work two hours late, and then took the kids to the park and to Lidl, where I found the perfect way to relax...

That's a Chinese-made model car kit, comprising 98 pieces of imitation Lego, and 15 pages of instructions featuring 28 separate steps. And you can buy one at Lidl for £3.99. I know, because I did.

To be honest, it was Amelie's choice (Toby got a £1.49 Hotwheels car), but having opened the box this morning and discovered that the contents looked less like a toy vehicle and more like a fatal car crash with a Haynes manual, I decided that the stated age of '4+' must be a misprint, and should read 41. So I put it together myself. Amelie was quite happy to watch, on condition that she got to add the stickers at the end.

And I have to say, I was very impressed. Lego kits that I had as a child consisted of about 6 pieces of plastic, providing about 5 seconds of fun. This was a genuine feat of engineering. I have no idea who managed to work out how those 98 pieces could be put together into the car above, but they deserve a Nobel prize. I enjoyed it so much, I had to restrain myself from heading straight back to Lidl for another one.

I did, however, make it as far as the internet, and the official BanBao website. And frankly the Danes should be quaking in their boots. The Chinese have got the world of plastic building bricks sewn up. They're even catering for Toby...

That bus is made up of 412 different pieces, and is aimed at children over 5. Although they could be crushed under the weight of the manual. Toby saw me looking at it online, and got so excited, he wouldn't let me visit any other websites. Every time I opened a new window, he grabbed the mouse, shouted "BUS!!!", and wouldn't stop screaming and pointing at the monitor until I got the picture back up. It made checking Facebook quite difficult.


Phil's Mum said...

Now I know what to buy Toby for Christmas. (He'll be reading by then, won't he?) And I trust you're travelling by car to the conference.