I've always had a bit of a soft spot for firemen. It might be because my family suffered a major fire tragedy when I was a young girl. It might be because they are heroic and brave. But I think it's mainly because firemen just look so darn fine in their uniforms.
Phwoar! is what I think quietly in my head (at least I hope I don't say it out loud) when a fireman strolls past. And seeing a fire truck is probably the one occassion that both my sons and I get genuinely excited about the same thing.
So the announcement that a fire engine (with real firemen) was going to be on display at the children's pre-school today, meant I paid slightly more attention than normal to my attire. I brushed my hair, put on a bit of lippy and wore something clean.
If I'm honest, I actually did have a hand in getting the fire truck there. I happened to mention it to the committee secretary that it was Child Safety Week this week and wouldn't it be a good publicity opportunity for the pre-school if we got a fire engine there (oh and by the way, we'd get to look at some firemen up close and personal). You see there are perks to being on the pre-school committee.
It seems, however, that I'm not alone in my firemen fantasies as there was a spectacular turn out of mums at the pre-school by the time we got there, all looking just a smidge more glam than usual. When the fire truck turned up, all the mummies ran to the windows with squeals of: 'Ooh, look kids, it's the firemen', pathetically attempting to convince everyone that we were really only excited for our children's sakes.
The firemen were a jolly bunch and asked everyone to get in a line before climbing aboard the truck. Small children were trampled and pushed aside as mums ran to the front of the queue. (Ok, we didn't really, but mentally, we were all doing it).
As per usual, my children wouldn't play ball. Having nagged all morning to go see the fire engine, when the grand moment actually arrived, they were too terrified to climb on the truck or wear the fireman's hat. Obviously that meant I didn't have a good excuse to stand close to the nice fireman and ask him about his hose. Bloody children.
Anyway, they did finally pluck up enough courage to have a go spraying the aforementioned hose and I did get a few smiles and conspiratorial winks from a few of the firemen who were glad they could finally get my kids involved. So everyone was happy in the end.
At last it was time for the firemen to leave. The children by this time had grown board. The mums hadn't. Afterwards over a nice cup of tea, we all agreed that they really had been 'a jolly good bunch of chaps' and 'weren't they great with the kids'. Surprisingly, no-one said: 'And did you see the butt cheeks on the blonde one'. We didn't need to. We all knew that's what we were really thinking after all.