Miss Elma is turning out to be a rather thoughtful young lady. Where her big sister dances, sing-shouts, and goes at a mile a minute all day long, Elma watches and waits.
She knows just where Daddy’s put the ketchup bottle and will ask for a little smudge for her plate with an outstretched finger, she’ll ask for “M-maw” as long as the ice-cream tub is still on the table, and she’ll carefully stalk Kitty waiting for that crucial moment when the toy of her choice becomes unattended for the millisecond needed to claim it as her own.
But now I think, judging on the current state of my lounge floor, my baby girl is applying herself to higher matters.
You see her Grandpa lives a long long way away. He likes to come to see us on the train, but right now the train isn’t there. Or at least, the train is, the track, not so much. Grandpa lives in a gorgeous part of the world, that just happens to be the far side of Dawlish Warren. Where there is no longer a railway line.
Now is it me, or… well, no I’m sure it’s not just me. Here we have the evidence that Elma, railway engineer extraordinaire, is tackling no lesser challenge than that faced by Isambard Kingdom Brunel himself; the conundrum of how to restore her access to her Grandpa given that the middle of Devon is pretty much one whopping great big hill, and trains do not really like hills.
And if the evidence is to be believed, she considers the experiment to be a complete success!
So National Rail, if you’re reading in a moment spared from playing tide fight with the South Devon coastline; this is what you need – a rickety rackety bridge, two slopey bits and a handful of hill supports; problem solved.
I should add a smidgen of caution though to this excellent plan. Firstly, the chief engineer appears to have dispensed with the need for buffers, which you might want to reconsider; and secondly, and possibly more importantly, while the trains made it successfully over the rickety rackety bridge, they did all seem to fall off on the hill – to Elma’s very great glee. You might want to consider a smidge more testing.