Bit of a tribute to my Dad who died a few years ago aged 60.
Pops always made an effort at Christmas. He bought me my first train set. Now, this was back in the days when a skilled worker earned £15 a week.
The train was a puffer. I've not seen anything like it since. It was a skilfully crafted little beastie. On the surface, it wasn't complicated. It looked like a steam train, but it seemed entirely electrical.
But it had a little trick up it's sleeve, that he demonstrated with glee. He let it run around the track he'd set up overnight. It was Christmas morning, and I came down to see this amazing little train running around the tree.
It was 5 am, The lights on the tree lit up the darkened room, and as I poked my little head around the door, dad was there in his pyjamas, planting little home made buildings within the track, around the tree.
Then the magic happened. He dropped a few drops of oil into the funnel, and it made this amazing 'chuff' noise, and puffs of smoke blew smoke rings into the air.
The image of him raising his head and grinning, with his pipe tucked into his teeth,will always be with me. Mice Won Pops, as he used to say :)