I have secretly poked fun at my father for his model train set hobby (which he keeps in the garden shed). But I have turned into him. I spent £100 on Lego this month. Lego was always one of my favourite toys when I was younger, and I could spend days building elaborate houses and then taking them to bits again. The thing I remember most about Live Aid in the 1980s was sitting on the living room floor, playing with my Lego the whole time it was on. And caring a lot more about the Lego than the pop music (I was 13 at the time).
But I was never interested in those Lego kits that let you build spaceships or tanks. All I ever wanted to do was build houses - I realise now I was just ahead of my time - I was the Kevin McCloud of the 1980s, albeit on a miniature scale.
This is what I built while the election debate was on. Lego's come a long way since the 1970s. That's a lego barbecue set in the background - and check out that satellite dish, the mailbox, velux windows and the garden table and chairs set. My old 70s Lego (which my parents wish I would take off their hands) only had a few windows and almost all the bricks were uniformly 2 by 4s and came in red, yellow, blue, white and black. Now they come in about 30 different shades and shapes.
I am going to work my way up to this.
It contains over 5,900 pieces and features "advanced building techniques". Something happens to my brain when I pick up a piece of Lego. I go into a weird trance-like state of transendental concentration. Hours can pass and I don't notice. And then I dream about it when I finally pass out with exhaustion.
I am not going to let my nephews and niece play with my Lego. I'm afraid it's too good to be wasted on children.