"You're not interested in the trains," he said. "But the houses, and you don't actually get those with the train set -that's all extra."
As was often the case, my father had figured me out even before I'd figured me out!
I've always been enthralled by stories of miniature people such as The Borrowers by Mary Norton, Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift and The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett. I've previously blogged about visiting a Miniatures museum in Taipei during our Taiwan trip.
So when I saw the Bay Area Garden Railway Society and South County Railroaders inviting folk to their Garden Railroad Tour to benefit the St Joseph's Center and Community Pantry, I talked My Husband into going - not that it took much effort - this appealed to both our nerdy selves!
This, I explained to him on the way down to Morgan Hill in the car, was something I had considered putting in our garden when I took out the lawn.
"Thank God, you didn't," he muttered. I thought the idea of the work and expense turned him off.
"Well, after the miniature murderer on CSI, " he admitted, "I think it would have been too creepy to have in our own yard."
Seems I'd lost that garden-design battle before I'd even tried! Still, he was happy to have a look at other folk's gardens and we were not disappointed.
We visited three different gardens - each one amazing, and different in it's own unique way. In all cases the attention to detail was amazing.
This one looked like a real town with everything to scale.
Tassagh Viaducts near Armagh.
Then I risked life and limb on the tracks, as this steam train bore down on me for the final shot!
As we drove home, I realized I no longer yearned for my own train set - that itch had been scratched and Dad had been right - I just wanted the cutesty villages. Now, I just create my own towns, when I write, and fill them with my own "living breathing" characters.