I went down to Devon for the Ashill Village Beer Festival, and my friend Adrian, a beer-festival fan, came with me. My brother and family came along too, so I introduced Adrian to my little nephew. I mentioned that Adrian's father is a builder and his name is Bob. Even though I did say that this wasn't the same person as on TV, I think that Bob the Builder is just a figure of too great mythic resonance for qualifications -- like the Knights Templar or Leonardo da Vinci or the Holy Grail, which distort all the stories in which they appear. In short my nephew was quite sure that Adrian was in fact Bob the Builder himself, and treated him all weekend with a sort of cautious awe. When he said his prayers with his father on Saturday evening* apparently he said thankyou for meeting Bob the Builder, and on Sunday morning he read his Spot the Dog book with Adrian and told my father when he came into the room "Grandad, I'm sitting next to Bob the Builder!". I felt a bit bad about this, but my Mum tells me that they talked to him about it later and he did know really that he was playing a game, like when he pretends to be a cat. (On the other hand, I sort of wish I'd said Adrian was Peppa Pig...)
Between us we both managed to taste all 22 of the beer festival beers, which was a better achievement than last year when I only managed something like 16 out of 18 over three days not two. The problem with living in London is that you ask yourself a lot "Do I want to do this? Will I enjoy it?" whereas in the village you just take what you're given. They actually call it the Ashill Beer and Music Festival, but unlike many music festivals in between two of the bands on the Saturday evening they had a half-hour zumba class. My nephew thought that was amazing. There were tons of kids there and it was generally a huge success. When my parents went to clear up the field they had lent for parking they found very little litter, and generally everyone was really well behaved.
*Yes, Richard Dawkins wouldn't approve of my brother saying prayers with my little nephew, but then again the mindfulness people would approve of going back over the day to pick out and feel glad for good things. Praying with my parents is one of my favourite childhood memories -- I think it was really good for me to know that my parents weren't the highest authority.