So, if anyone needs to know about minor road works in the Dublin area, go no further. I spend my mornings trawling the streets with my Bob the Builder obsessed toddler, looking for construction vehicles. Just today we found a digger, a roller and a big thing that lays the tarmacadam before it is rolled flat. A tamper? A stamper? I haven’t a clue.
To a man the “workpeople” (always, always men) give my little boy a hero’s welcome. They wave, offer seats to try out driving, quack, chat and in the face of his stony face or shy downcast eyes are the epitome of kindness and cheer.
God I’m sick of it though. I mean, apart from the noise and the mud and the dust, it’s the hanging around just looking at people that gets a bit uncomfortable.
Because we are sort of “in their workplace”, I think it’s only polite to say hello or ask what they are doing. For some reason my voice always comes out very “lady of the manor” ringing rich, dulcet tones that can be heard easily over the machines.
“And what, may I ask, are you working on here, young man?”
For probably the same reason they never actually answer me, nodding and looking away as if embarrassed by my existence and also thinking, we can tolerate the little fellah but we’re not going to listen to this shite. I don’t blame them; I can hardly listen to myself.
And sometimes, on our approach I can see that they are chatting and laughing, sharing a joke and enjoying themselves. But once we take up our position and I start spouting nonsense they look as if the headmistress has arrived in their classroom during lunch break. Caps are doffed and my little boy is greeted but their comfortable laughter is definitely over. I’m almost tempted to say “As you were!” but I doubt it would work.
Anyway, like I said, if you need to know the whereabouts of diggers in Dublin, I’m your woman.