A Very Thomas Birthday

A small collection of pictures taken on JFGP's third birthday, and then his brother's first

For the boy's third birthday we treated him to a special day out. We went on a Thomas and Friends special on the Zig Zag Railway near Lithgow. It was the middle of winter and the railway is two and a half hours drive from our house. The train left the station at 10:30am and we left the house at about five past eight. I'll let you do the sums. Suffice it to say that SWMBO and I were watching the clock like hawks. I was also watching the rear view mirror to make sure that Emma and Elli were keeping up on the mountain roads.

We got to the station car park with ten minutes to spare and made it onto the train and found our seats just as it departed the platform. Here are the pictures.


The rain came down and didn't really stop. Emma and Elli are a little soggy at this point. But a few well placed bribes and the knowledge that we were going for a journey on Thomas seemed to put everyone in the right frame of mind. Emma tells me that this picture isn't very flattering, for which I apologise but my make-up artist and lighting assistant had taken the day off.


Alex was so overwhelmed he actually sat on the seat and didn't say anything for a whole five minutes or so. All we could get out of him was this cheesy grin.


Olly, meanwhile, was excited by the new environment and was keen to eat as much of the carriage as possible before we got to our destination. His Mum says that he looks cute, I just think that he is calculating which seat has the most edible covering.


It wouldn't be a Thomas and Friends day out without an appearance from the Fat Controller. Although truth be told he wasn't very fat and didn't seem to be controlling much. Anyway, Elli wasn't convinced and wasn't going to pose for a photo whatever the bribe.


Alex, though, succumbed to a chocolate related bribe and was happy to have his picture taken with "Sir Topham Hatt". Nice gloves sir.


At the end of the train track they had set up a series of rides and attractions in the maintenance shed. Most popular with the small people was the carousel. Here's Alex demonstrating his technique.


Elli was also a big fan of the carousel. She was using the occasion to try out her technique for warding off the paparazzi. "No pictures please".


I think the horses must have started going really fast at this point. Either that or Alex was looking at the sausage in a bun that I was eating with a jealous gaze. The coffee was quite nice as well.


Outside the maintenance shed they had a red engine. Alex informed me that his name is "James" and insisted that they have their picture taken together. Note the addition of the Dora the Explorer umbrella. Did I mention that it rained just a bit?


Once she saw that the camera was out Elli had to muscle in on the action. Note the authentic steam.


Before we went back up the mountain I got Alex to pose in front of his hero, one Thomas t.t. Engine. It took a couple of goes to get his expression correct though. First we have the serious look.


Then we have the cheesy grin. This is obviously a boy who has appeared in far too many photographs.


Back home after a nice short drive we addressed ourselves to the pile of presents in the living room. Olly had seen his brother's work and started working on his own special pose. Can you detect the theme in the presents yet?


Alex quite liked his presents and would like to thank everyone who sent him one. Individually by preference but this picture will have to do for those he can't thank in person.


This is nothing to do with birthdays or presents but the junior member of the team likes climbing up things. He really likes climbing up things. Most of the time he can't be stopped except with extreme prejudice. Or a lolly.


The favourite gift, at least at the moment, is the ride along Thomas. It was given to both of the boys by SWMBO as a social experiment to see if they can share. So far it's working quite well. Of course that's probably due to the fact that Olly was having a snooze when this picture was taken.


After unwrapping all of his presents Alex had to incorporate them in a track. Luckily his Mum is good at putting these pieces together because I'm completely rubbish. I always end up with several dead ends and in need of just a couple more bends.


By the next day Alex was letting his brother have a ride on Thomas. Look at them, the very picture of brotherly co-operation.


Soon, Olly will start walking and you can guarantee that the day he manages to stagger a couple of paces Alex will be sitting on Thomas expecting a push. With a bit of luck by then I'll have managed to figure out how to turn off the really annoying sounds.