Muck and Brass

My wife is a genius. Such praise one does not shower lightly.

It’s our first Irish summer holiday and she has risen to the task magnificently. In Japan, kids’ summer holidays last about a month, but most kids spend most of the day still stuck in school, practicing sport with their long suffering teachers. Because of this, there is little quality family time. A two-week holiday together is the stuff of dreams.

Here, my wife has to spend two months with our children, bless her. And if you know anything about Irish summers, you’ll also know that they can be difficult.

God, it's lovely out, Ted!
God, it’s lovely out, Ted!

We live in North Dublin so we often see planes flying overhead. That and our recent emigration means that our boys have developed an obsession with them. My wife wanted to get them toy planes but she is yet to crack open the safe to my credit card. My eldest decided to make his own and put this together:

Hmm, well, I guess it’s ‘aeroplane’ shaped and it does the job if you hold it in your hand, run around and shout “NEEEEEYAAAAAAAAA”. But then the next day, my wife made this bad-boy.



After a ‘hard’ days work, I was suitably impressed when I came home to this. Looks great, sturdy enough and yet so simple to make, you can probably guess just by looking at it. If not, here comes the science bit.

First get a whole newspaper. Yes, a whole one – don’t be shy. From the front page to the sports section. In fact, take advantage of this season of transfer speculation to get that bulky jumbo jet effect. Then start in one corner and roll it up. You should have a long thick tube when you’re done.

Next, get a broken coat hanger. I’m sure you have plenty lying around – I know we have (in fact, we always need more. Can anyone tell me where we can get coat hangers for free?). Then take a piece of cardboard and draw around the coat hanger. These will be the wings. You can also use the ends of the coat hanger to make the tail, like this.




Then cut out the wings and tape them to the coat hanger. The tail doesn’t really need any reinforcement.

Tape the tail and the wings to one half of the newspaper tube. Then fold up the tube in half and tape it down. The crease should make a satisfyingly bulky front of the plane. Then, for the engines, tape two toilet rolls to the wings and Bob’s your uncle! Be prepared for noise pollution and mid-air collisions in your living room.



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