The girls decided that they wanted to build sandcastles, so I took them to a nearby gift shop to buy buckets and spades and of course, flags for the sandcastles. These were chosen with extreme care as the little people who would take over the castles later, would have to know which ones belonged to them. Building sandcastles is a craft that I rediscovered a few years previously. It required the right amount of water mixed with the right amount of sand and the right story to go with the building project. If I had boys, the castles would probably have been at war with each other. The girl’s stories however, were usually of princes and princesses, and their ensuing betrothal. Today was no exception and the castles were well under way, when Emma noticed something missing.
“Daddy,” she said in panic. “Where are they going to get married? We have to build a church!”
“Mummy can build us one over there,” I said as I nudged Alison’s leg and pointed to a spot on the sand.
“Oh no she can’t!” was Alison’s instant reply.
I gave her a puzzled look.
“That’s the main road past the castles. You can’t build a church in the middle of the road! How would the horses get round it?”
I had not realized she had been following the plot!
“Yes, silly daddy,” said Chloe. “You choose where it goes mummy.”
“And I thought that I was supposed to be the master builder!”
Alison, as always had a reply.
“You be the builder and I’ll be the planning office.”
“Yes,” said the girls in unison, although I am certain they did not have the least idea of what a planning office was.
The work was eventually completed. Mummy had a little trouble with the steeple but we all helped out and with a little more water, many hands and a hastily found excuse for not building it very high, it was just left to me to complete the story.
“What time do you think the little people will come tonight, daddy?” whispered Emma
“About seven o’clock.” Alison’s quick reply took me by surprise. I had opened my mouth to answer, but her sudden reply prevented me from closing it as I turned to look at her.
“Just about the time little girls go to bed?”
Of course, Silly daddy!