One of the things that I have found with being the father of a demanding Toddler is that you have to go to tourist attractions at the weekend. People without children just lie in bed on Saturdays reading the newspaper and being brought coffee and having sixty niners. I envy them all, with their relaxing and unpressured lifestyles.
This time, however, I was looking forward to the trip as we were going to see the man who has built a proper miniature railway in his garden.
It is brilliant!!! I had not been there before – it is open only a couple of times a year. We walked up his drive and across the level crossing. ‘Toot toot’ went the train as it zooshed past laden with children.
The LTLP narrowed her eyes at me. “I can tell what you’re thinking,” she warned.
I shrugged off her silliness. Besides, I would have to scrap the chicken idea if I were to have one.
It being the first sunny day since the initial episode of ‘Last of the Summer Wine’, we queued for about 3 days for our go. There were children everywhere. I explained the minutiae of railway operation and history to the Toddler as the LTLP clutched her and I carried the satchel of child things and a flask of drink.
“Room for two more!!!” hollered a railway official.
We pushed our way to the front. Unfortunately when we got there the two seats weren’t together, so I had to go on my own in a wagon with another bloke and a young boy. I gave them a broad smile as I sat opposite, the satchel and drink on my lap. He pulled his child closer to him and muttered something.
The train set off. It is incredible!!! He has tunnels and viaducts and everything. I will have to knock through the wall into Short Tony’s if I am ever to do anything like it.
There are people who would say that building a railway in your garden is typical of an English Eccentric. It seems perfectly normal to me, although if you ask me it is fucking eccentric to then invite the general public in to spoil it. If/when I have one I would keep it all to myself, apart from maybe letting a few people from the Village Pub have a go on it after closing time.
I try to explain this to the LTLP on the way down the hill. She just rolls her eyes. If she is not careful she will end up being tied to the tracks.