THERE are more and more signs we are coming to the end of our time at primary school.

But the biggest one is a flipping great huge model of a motte and bailey castle sitting on top of one our bookcases.

It's been there for the last month and a half now, which is a little odd because the previous two have never lasted more than a week.

They were broken down almost as quickly as they were constructed with various bits shoved into the recycling or black bin bags, depending on their recyclable state.

Like the Tudor house, the geological make-up of the world and of course who could forget the volcanoes complete with exploding lava, they are now just fleeting memories of the time our kids have spent in primary education.

Actually that's a lie because one did survive. The Big Boy's Tudor House, which in a moment of genius he made into a pillow and which is now used, rather brilliantly I may say, as a head rest when we go on long journeys. The only Tudor house in history, I would hazard a guess, that has been to Australia and back.

So apart from the Big Boy's Tudor house, and the Little Lad's motte and bailey castle, oh and thinking about it I believe a volcano made it into a Lego animation at some stage, they've all been thrown out pretty much straight away.

Which is why it's a little strange the castle is still with us.

I did mention it to the Beautiful Wife the other day and I must say I got a rather snappy reply along the lines of 'it's not hurting one up there on the shelf, it's not in anyone's way.'

A similar argument I believe I used with several of my old uni t-shirts, which didn't stop her rooting inside my wardrobe - where they weren't hurting anyone - extracting them with tongs (rude!) and then throwing them into the bin muttering good riddence.

Perhaps, Neil, it was a particularly good motte and bailey castle and she liked the aesthetics of it, you may suggest.

And I would reply.

'No, it's a terrible motte and bailey castle. The walls are too low, the bailey has been wrongly identified as the fence when it is in actual fact the whole of the enclosed courtyard. And if anyone can climb that ladder up the motte then they are a better man than I. You would need a ruddy set of ropes, belays and carabiners to get up there. Not exactly useful when a horde of angry invaders are after you.'

I suspect, being the betting man that I am (anyone else have Annie Power in the Champion Hurdle?) that the BW has kept said sad excuse of a castle because it will be the last one we will ever help to make.

It's the last symbol of our 12 years of blood, sweat and tears rummaging through craft stuff to make the perfect the model, which not only will wow our child's teacher, but much more importantly than that will make our parenting peers sick with envy.

So we're done with primary school models, for now. Until one day when one of our grandchildren come round and tell us they have to make the international space station.

And when that day comes - we'll be on it!



"Congratulations Ben and Bonnie, and of course little Eric, on the new addition to your family" Neil.

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