Eoin’s wheel obsession, previously mentioned, has only been getting stronger of late. Not only have I had to prise him away from the toolboxes again on a subsequent trip to B&Q, I’ve also had to separate him, fairly forcibly, from a number of car tyres (I don’t want him to get the idea that he should be hanging around behind cars, poking at their wheels: that sort of thing can’t end well), as well as the wheels of tricycles being ridden by other children (he has narrowly escaped more than one crushed finger). Things which resemble wheels (the knobs on the gas cooker, the volume control on his father’s stereo, the rotary washing line, the toilet roll) do not escape being mercilessly, fearlessly spun. Wheeled toys are neither pushed nor ridden-upon, but upturned, so that their wheels may be lovingly caressed. This is a boy with a genuine, all-consuming passion.
Big yokes with wheels, yokes with big wheels… It’s all one to him, provided that a circular object is attached to an axle at some point in the proceedings. Recently, the road outside our house was being resurfaced, and Eoin spent several days in a transport of delight as a parade of JCBs, road rollers and other gargantuan wheeled vehicles rumbled up and down just outside the front gate. There can’t be many people out there who’d take such simple pleasure in some roadworks, but Eoin is a boy of fixed tastes.
As I taking the photographs of him used in this post, he became rather fascinated with the camera (maybe the lens looked sufficiently wheel-like from the front, who knows?), so I helped him to hold the it up to his face, and let it auto-focus on whatever it was he was looking at. Really, I should have known what I was going to see when I downloaded the pictures:
Gender stereotyping be blowed: what we are looking at here is clearly a case of true love between a boy and his wheel.
*The title of this post comes from the first episode of Soupy Norman, “Buttevant”, namely the scene about a minute and a half in, in which the grandfather warns his granddaughter about “the dangers up in Dublin”, including buses, snooker halls and bouncy castles. The buses are, of course, the big yokes with wheels. RTÉ aren’t making Soupy Norman any more, unfortunately, but it’s well worth a watch if you happen to have a penchant for surreal comedy with an Irish accent. “Yoke” is an Irish slang word for “thing”.