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So by the time I’ve dealt with that (with minimal swearing) and walked into town they’ve been there for almost 3 hours. And by the time I arrive they’ve been phoning their mates so now there is a gaggle of them. At least himself had remembered he’d got one of the dogs in the van and said dog is in the establishment enjoying all the attention. Feeling sorry for it I buy it a bag of pork scratchings (along with another round of drinks for the impromptu model railway club meeting) only to learn that what the dog didn’t tell me was that this will be her THIRD bag of scratchings. I’ve tried to teach the dogs to politely say ‘no thank-you, I’ve had enough already’ but the automatic ‘sit’ in response to a rustled packet is straight out of Pavlov! I finally extracted them an hour or so later. Stowing dog and getting 3 largeish bodies in the van wasn’t as amusing for me as it was for others though, and friend and luggage were eventually successfully delivered home. And dog was made to wait in the van while I fed the others who were clearly at death’s door through starvation by then. Still, himself is now very aware that I have serious credits in the bank! Now, himself is having a birthday, as we all do, but not everyone’s is quite as inconveniently close to Christmas. This brings the perennial problem of finding a suitable birthday card when the shops are full of cards with pictures of reindeer, robins and the chap in the red suit. Every year I swear I’m going to get it in June and I either forget or I forget where I’ve stashed it by December. Anyway, inspiration for birthday gifts at that time of year is always sadly lacking. So, as usual, we have the ‘what do you want for your birthday’ conversation. Once we’ve got over the ‘nothing’/‘don’t be a grumpy old git’ etc etc bit it turns out there is, in fact, some new, must have toy train just out. Enquiries have been pursued and having got over the shock of the cost of it, said item has been not just ordered, but pre-ordered (how clever am I?). ‘How much?!!!’ is my usual refrain at the vet’s after a 10 minute consultation and the issuing of a small packet of pills (that brings its own challenges in terms of getting them down the gullet of a reluctant hound). However, I can make exceptions in the case of model railway desirables, no matter how desirable. So, having wafted the magic credit card I get to express amazement at the cost twice more; once when the credit card statement comes next month and again when the item itself arrives. Note to self; remember to make appreciative noises too (and not to call it a toy train)! PS: Item has now arrived and I must admit it does ‘chuff’ rather impressively. As an aditional surprise I got to pay P&P as well as the bazillion squiddlies for the item itself. Thrilled! 23

Model Railway Express Issue Two January 2017  
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