By Michael Adler
Daniel brought a book on Space back from the library. He was fascinated by the pictures of the spaceships and astronauts. Short of building a space shuttle from Meccano however, I had an idea. Why not blast the boys off to the moon for the afternoon. We started looking at the book, and I focused on the astronaut picture. "Why donít you go upstairs and dress up as astronauts?" says Bampa. "Thatís an idea" says Daniel, echoed closely by Joel his brother. They came back to the lounge shortly and I could have died laughing. There were Daniel and Joel in overalls and crash helmets. We had to find them oxygen tanks made from school bags and breathing masks made from plastic cups.
We got them lined up for a medical check, and then went through the take off procedure with them. There had to be a count down of course - and I showed them a drawing I had made of the control centre. I also made a drawing of the space shuttle and attached rockets on its launch pad with the control tower alongside which I carefully mentioned was of course made from Meccano.
We agreed that it would be a good idea to go to the moon, and I arranged two dining room chairs on their backs, and showed them how to lie on them with their feet over the ends. Joel of course required quite a few pillows. My two astronauts were jumping with excitement as they went through their medical checks and waited for the count down. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one - BLAST OFF. Screams of delight as the room seemed to vibrate with roar and the flames and I made sure their chairs had a good shaking.
The secret password was 'O Gilly Gilly' and once they had made it into orbit, we got them off the couches, through an airlock into the garden and into the International Space Station. All systems seemed to be go, with excellent communication through the satellite dish between garden and control centre and so the next phase of the trip was commenced with injection into moon orbit and a landing. Shortly afterwards, I got an urgent message from Joel the co-pilot that he would collect moon rocks but he wanted to stay on the moon. "I am the co-pilot who lives on the moon!" Daniel of course had to arrange his own way back and was soon grinning from ear to ear at his welcome on the deck of the aircraft carrier after his emergency landing.
We arranged to send some vacuum packed food up to the moon, but there was no way of getting Joel back before bath bathy!.