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Sunday, 16 October 2011
A teenager once more
They finally woke me up at 1045 (a touch under 12 hours asleep) so that we'd have some chance of doing things today. I have many ideas including the beach and Tunnel park to have one last go on the trains before they pack up for the winter. I hope we haven't missed their last run of the season.
I took Jof to Sainsbury's so that we'd buy the right stuff this time; thus it was £40 more than usual.
Once we'd had lunch I hopped on my bike and cycled to Tunnel park with him running alongside and Jof following on behind on Shank's pony. When we got there we saw the trains were running apart from a red one that had broken down and was getting early retirement. It sat on the sidings hissing sadly to itself but we didn't care as we got on an electric one. The control panel was so simple and devoid of NASA-style complexity I bet I could have driven it. Once we'd finished our circuits I went into the climbing park proper while he retraced our footsteps using a trail of rice we had left earlier to find Jof, who appeared to have got lost on the half-mile journey. She was sitting on a garden wall on the main road with an old dear. This extremely elderly and highly confused barking biddy had locked herself out of her house: a neighbour confirmed that although the old bat was battier than a cricket conference in a belfry, she did indeed live at the house and may well have done so since the 17th century. Bud knew exactly what to do and ran back to collect me.
The Father/son Avenging Rescue Team arrived in a puff of magic purple smoke, at about the same time as the nice policeman that Jof had phoned earlier. The copper tried the door but without breaking it or calling out an expensive locksmith it wasn't going to happen. This was our chance. We shared our plan with the Grateful Gumshoe. Having got the official nod from the Old Bill to perform some B&E like in the good old days we nipped round the corner and climbed up the 8 foot wall, over the flat roof at the back of the bank and we dropped silently and stealthily into her garden, crushing forever a fossilized poppy, a deceased hydrangea and the hopes and dreams of many large spiders whose webs stretched across the path at face height. We surveyed (with our professional rescuing eyes) the back of the house with its high, closed windows with no approaching handholds. With eyes bright we eyed up the skylight. Then we marched directly in through the back door which the Gargling Granny had left unlocked. There was a distinct aroma of wee and one of those special toilets that is also a piece of furniture. The Dazzled Rozzer and the Frazzled Crone were highly surprised that we had breached the domestic defences in so few minutes and we left them to make tea for each other and for the Fuzz to file reports to be assessed by the social, no doubt. Flags unfurled, we returned victorious to the field of trains. I did not get a Rescue Team badge but I deserved one.
Jof and I went on the green train. It broke down at Bermuda Corner and all the flat-capped train geeks rushed over to offer their jibes and condolences to the hapless driver. It broke down again at the other end behind the bushes, and for this added insult, we were offered a free ride on the yellow train to make up for it, which was silly as it was a much more interesting circuit. Ben arrived so took Jof's place for the freebie. The yellow train powered its lemony way to the far end of the track where it, too, broke down. Cue a convergence of enraged train geeks with flat caps of all colours (as long as it's beige). In the end we limped home being shunted by the boring yet reliable electric train behind us. Best day on the trains I've ever had. Next week is the last week of trains as they go into hibernation so make sure you don't miss it.