It’s not strictly a story from this year, but it’s from last Christmas, it’s one of my favourite stories, and seemingly I haven’t gotten around to blogging about it yet… so that makes it more than eligible for the jasonbstanding.com treatment, doesn’t it? Admittedly, I think I’ve already told everyone I’ve ever met, but I don’t think that’s ever stopped me before.

This time last year I was lucky enough to be in Adelaide, Australia avoiding the ludicrously freezing London winter. One of the first afternoons I was there, I was out in the shed (it’s more like an outside office than a shed; we just call it that) at Mum & Dad’s doing a little bit of work on my laptop and chatting away with my younger brother Timothy.

Out on the verandah I could see my little nephew doing a drawing on the blackboard that Mum & Dad have out there to keep visiting kids amused. It’s only a matter of time before no kids know what a blackboard is, after they’re systematically replaced with interactive hypoallergenic digital whiteboards and the like. However that’s not relevant here.

My sister in law was out supervising, and after a short amount of blackbordial activity I heard her voice enquire, “Ooooh, what are you drawing, H_____?”.

His tiny high-pitched voice responded earnestly, “It’s a monster truck!”.

Maybe it was a sense of avuncular pride that prompted me, but for some reason I leant back on the tilty chair to get a better look at this magnificent artwork, and instantly broke out into paroxysms of merriment. Tim craned his neck to have a look, and started giggling too.

Chels came over to see what the source of the levity in the shed was, demanding “What is it you two are laughing at?”.

I explained – “Well, it’s a monster alright… but it’s no truck…”.

I don’t know what I like better about this photo – the fact that my nephew was only just approaching 4 years old and was already at the developmental phase of drawing meat & two veg on blackboards, or the sheer pride & joy in his expression.

It certainly has massive wheels, doesn’t it.

Happy Christmas everyone.