Opinion: Matthew Munson – Entertained by roadworks…

The latest journey for Matthew and Bryan

The road outside my front door has been re-tarmacked this week. KCC’s highways maintenance team have been going to and fro along our stretch of road over two days, doing all the things they need to do in order to get the surface nice and even.

Signs went up on lampposts and in our local shop to let us know, but I didn’t pay it much attention, truth be told. I don’t drive, and the work was only going to take two days. But it turns out that what seemed like a simple enough process turned out to be a brilliant learning opportunity.

Bryan was fascinated, and so I became fascinated too once I started seeing things through a child’s eyes. The workmen (they were all men, I’m not being lazy with my gender pronouns) arrived early on Thursday morning, and I casually pointed them out to Bryan when he woke up. He was immediately glued to the window, and I had to prise him away to have breakfast. I suspect that he would have stayed there all day if I’d let him.

On both days, we went outside three or four times to check on the workmens’ progress. We watched the entire process with avid fascination and struck up conversations with them as they talked through what they were doing. Bryan learnt about asphalt and tarmac, bitumen and the chemicals in tar, and I learnt that such simple pleasures could be rich in possibilities.

After all that, anything I could have done might have been a let-down, so we’ve mostly been doing arts and crafts this week. Bran developed a project all of his own that he wanted to design, and I was happy to oblige, supplying the paper, card, and colours he needed to get it done. I wanted to back off a little and see what happened when he was engrossed in something – and he was busy in a whirlwind of cutting, colouring, creating, and crafting. I was in awe – I’ve never been much of a crafter – so I let him stay in charge of his project.

I’ve been able to write this week on and off, usually in the early morning/ late at night when Bryan’s in bed, and if he’s engrossed in a TV programme – Scooby Doo, most of the time. I love writing; it’s a part of who I am, and I get tetchy if I have to go a day without doing it (I get tetchy at other times too, which I know is a surprise – just don’t ask Bryan that question, as I was grumpy on a couple of occasions this week, and he’s starting to do a bit too well at tuning me out). I’m crafting a story based on twin sisters being involved in the end of the world, but now I’m rather stuck – I’ve reached a certain point and I’m stuck. I can’t decide how to progress the story, so I’m going to have to hide under my bed covers for a while – for some reason, it works. The only problem is that Bryan often sees that as the beginning of a game, so I’m not quite sure how long that will last.

Does anyone have any roadworks starting this week? Maybe I’ll send him round …