KIERAN HOWARD: Louie poked and prodded it as if he was a beach hut inspector

Have you ever found yourself pondering just how fascinating a glorified shed can be to a child?

Tuesday, 6th June 2017, 7:24 am
Updated Thursday, 8th June 2017, 3:28 pm

No, I thought not, but here follows an answer to that poser nonetheless, so bear with me.

I’ll base my summary on Louie’s recent experiences of his grandad’s beach hut.

First, I should point out that it isn’t in a great state of repair.

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It’s old, worn, wind-battered and threatening to fall apart, both inside and out. It’s very similar to me after a 20-mile bike ride in mid-winter.

In a week when a certain political party is promising voters strength and stability, my dad’s seaside hideaway offers neither.

Louie’s indoor material teepee is more secure.

Thankfully the hut is soon due to be replaced with a brand new one. Sadly though, my dad’s lease expires in August. Typical.

All that said, my dad and step-mum have made it very homely and all the essentials are in stock.

You can escape the rain and make some lunch and a brew in there which is all that really matters. Louie loves it too.

With only two months left to make the most of it, I took the little mischief-maker down there for a couple of hours the other day.

No sooner had we arrived and unlocked it, than he was off exploring.

But, not the inside of the hut as you’d expect, or even the beach or sea, where there was lots to grab his attention.

No, he wanted to closely examine the exterior of the hut instead, mainly to the rear of it, but also the sides and front door.

He poked and prodded it with the extended aerial of grandad’s portable radio. He held it outstretched like an improvised fishing rod.

Neighbouring huts didn’t go without scrutiny either.

He was captivated by the huts and fully focused on checking every inch of them.

It’s like he created the role of beach hut inspector and had to ensure the foundations, walls and roofs were adequate and up to the job.

The inspection was extremely thorough and lasted quite some time.

It involved scanning each hut many, many times – a real patience tester. I too now know every dimension of them.

I’m not overly sure what his final evaluation was, but he was content enough to sit and have lunch just outside it shortly after the examination. I’m guessing he deemed it just about still fit for purpose.


It’s amazing how the smallest things make kids laugh.

Louie finds virtually everything funny just lately.

He’s so carefree and doesn’t have a worry in the world right now, so simply dropping an object on the floor is enough to have him in stitches.

I just have to look at him sometimes and he creases up, although that might just be my face.

As you can see, I have a lot of forehead and a truly remarkable receding hairline, so that’s probably what he finds funny.

He was settling into his nightly bath the other evening and happened to pop his toothbrush into an empty bubble bath bottle.

He then ordered me to tip the bottle upside down so that the toothbrush plummeted into the water.

Time and again he found it absolutely hilarious.

Other things currently on his ‘funny list’ include watching me skimming pebbles down the beach, a hand puppet duck, a particular five-second scene from Justin’s House on CBeebies, the dogs chasing bubbles and the old classic, peek-a-boo.