Duncan just turned 8. He chose to go to the toy shop to pick his present (another train!). He prefers to get exactly what he wants rather than a possibly unwanted surprise. We each bought an ice-cream and then he was happy to sit looking at the Mad Mouse roller coaster which has been erected in town with the rest of the summer fun fair, but not yet opened. The fellas building it must be getting used to my lot hanging around. Duncan noticed the construction on the very first day as we drove past and we had to go and watch them work for while, even though it was raining!
Last year Duncan objected to people saying he was 7. He prefers to think of himself as number 6, because he is the Percy train in his family engine allocation. Yes, I got in wrong on my blog! This year I explained how Lady is number 2 like James (her engine) but she is 9 years old, Thomas is number 1 like Thomas (yeah, I got one right) but he is 6 years old. So Duncan can be number 6 like Percy the engine, but he is 8 years old. He thought that was acceptable.
Back at home, we asked all the children who happened to be around the street, most of whom have somehow materialised in the past few sunny weeks to join Lady and Thomas as they scoot about on their bicycles, to come join us for some of Duncan's chocolate birthday cake. He blew out the '8' birthday candle, and everyone just said happy birthday! Earlier I'd asked him if he wanted us to sing the birthday song or just say the words and he'd made his choice, which I passed on to the children.
He enjoyed his fairly low key celebration and giggled every time I made a fuss of him for being the birthday boy.
I just want to record his latest achievement, he and his dad cycled to town to see the roller coaster at the weekend, a distance of about 5 km each way. Since then he has gone on a few evening bike rides with us down to the beach and back. He's made massive progress in his bike handling in such a short time.