He put the book down and turned to his model railway. Pictures of locos were stuck to the wall around it. Feeling for the control box from his bed, he turned the knob and a train started to make its way around the layout. Perky the cat jumped up and batted at it with his paw. The train derailed and crashed off the viaduct into the fake water.
“Oh Perky,” said Albert.
The cat ran off to hide and Albert fussed around, putting the train back on the tracks and inspecting the damage through his thick glasses. Then he noticed a plate with a sandwich on it, sitting on top of the station building. Ham, he always liked a ham sandwich. He munched away as he rearranged the train. Perky was hiding under the bed but popped out to pinch a tiny piece of meat that had fallen to the floor.
Albert finally stopped looking at the train and went out into the garden. It was small, like the small bedroom/living room/trainset room. He’d done the grass in the bowling green way he liked, though it was a fairly small grass area and a jack bowl would hit the others quite quickly. He sat on the little bench and Perky followed hoovering up dropped ham as he went.
Albert imagined his trainset coming out into the garden from the little window. He imagined it could be done. A few bits of wood, a hammer – job done. He’d probably do it one day. He finished the sandwich and wiped his hands on his cardie. Perky fished up what had been dropped and then jumped on Albert’s lap.
“Hello Perky, where have you come from?”
The cat looked up into Albert’s bottle-top glasses adorned face. Albert peered hazily back at the fuzzy moggie cat. Perky was quite happy that he got extra food each time Albert had a sandwich.
Albert surveyed his domain, all four meters-squared of it. The flowers had come up well that year. Granted the garden felt a lot smaller and the blooms were giving him hay fever, but it was worth it, he thought. He wondered if his trainset could pass amongst the flowers, though he doubted the scale was good between flower and train. Perhaps a fantasy world of giant blooms was in order.
Albert fancied a coffee, but Perky seemed quite settled now and had culled up into a ball on his lap. Shame to disturb the cat, he thought.
After a few hours his bottom was a bit sore. Perky woke, stretched, yawned and sauntered away to find some more ham.
Albert was free to go and prepare coffee. He went in, brewed up and then returned to the bed with his Royal Daulton cup. He drank and read his book on Railways of the Southern Region. Then he put down the book and reached for the train control. The train made its way over the viaduct. Little did Albert know that Perky was watching the train, waggling his bottom for a hunting leap.