Wednesday, 30 November -0001
Only fun in Bobland
Sam Taylor suspects that digging up the road is only fun in Bobland
By Sam TaylorWhen Bob the Builder heads out to his yard in the morning the first thing he does is have a jolly good chat with his mini digger, Scratch, or Benny the bright-red excavator. These anthropomorphised lumps of metal, headed by Scoop, the backhoe loader, are a font of helpful knowledge. Benny's always saying things like, 'It's unreal, banana peel,' when faced with a particularly daunting hole. In some of the more surreal episodes of Bob's life, Dizzy the concrete mixer has even been known to put the kettle on.
When my mini digger eventually arrives, I don't imagine that we will share the same special bond. For starters, I've never met a mini digger. How big is a mini digger? Quite big it seems. Larger than the average Ford Transit and with very few charming character traits. Unlike Bob's team, mini diggers in the real world don't usually start work with a rousing chorus of 'Pack me up and watch me go-go!' They are prone to break down or stall, which is why Mr Greenwood likes to bring two along. Of course he may bring two along so that his son has something to play on, but as he is now a married man in his 40s, I suspect he no longer feels the need to copy his dad.
No, I fear the main reason that two large steel contraptions are on the schedule is a geographical one. My (our) house is on a hill. In fact, it's on a hill with a 1 in 4 gradient, which means that there is every chance that my mini digger will slide backwards – or at least refuse to go forwards. The neighbours, so far, are still blissfully unaware of my need to dig a 10ft-deep trench all the way down the road and the logistics of this have yet to be explained to them.
In Bobland there is rarely a neighbourhood dispute. Farmer Pickles lives next door and is always nipping round on Travis the tractor to lend a helping hand. Somehow I can't see the exquisitely coiffed couple opposite wanting to get their hands that dirty. Besides, as it's a dead-end street with parking on one side only, they and the other residents will undoubtedly be preoccupied with fi ring off lawyers' letters demanding that I remove the Road Closed signs immediately.
This is all pure conjecture of course. I am still waiting on a form from the council revealing whether they are happy for me to dig the 10ft trench, install five (yes five) new manhole covers and 90ft of extra pipe into the mains drain system. Then I am also waiting on the arrival of the Premium Bonds that will enable me to pay for this kitchen-sink drama.
In Bobland no money ever changes hands, it's all a fantasy.
A bit like Samland, really.
Next week: Let's burn it!
Daily tip from the lady archive
"BE careful with your mouth make-up. By careless work you may obliterate well-cut lines, and you will always achieve a badly groomed look if your lipstick is smudged and badly applied."The Lady, Make-Up for Mouths, 8th January, 1942
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