I may have mentioned in these here parts before that I have a not insignificant number of niblings (yes, niblings, look it up).
As a dutiful auntie I do my best to anticipate their birthdays but usually I’m a bit rubbish at being organized enough to get gifts to them before the actual day, more often or not, they’re late.
So, as I was home in NZ in Sept it seemed smart to buy Healy’s* gift while I was there, and having observed his passion for all things Thomas the Tank Engine I inquired of my sis which engine was missing from his set. The reply was Diesel 10, an engine which was unheard if to me it’s been so long since I had little charges who were train mad.
Of course, Diesel 10 isn’t currently in production in the set that Healy owns (don’t get me started on the myriad of versions of TTTE tracks and how easy it is to get the wrong ones!) so some Internet surfing was employed to find one, which I duly did, in Hong Kong.
Had all gone according to the plan the train would have arrived on time, posted direct to his address and all would have been hunky dory! But these things rarely go according to the plan and the package never arrived. So while the vendor gave me a refund, the hunt for another was renewed.
I found one a week or two back, and of course, it wasn’t local, it was in the UK, but as I put in a decent bid which was maximised by the strong Aussie dollar, I sat back anxiously to find out if anyone was quite so desperate as me.
HURRAH! They weren’t, and so after a wee flurry of correspondence with the previous owner, the engine, complete with two troublesome trucks was despatched to NZ.
Here’s the best bit of the whole story… Lil’ Sis waited till I was available on Skype to have Healy open the present while I was ‘there’ so I could get the full impact of what we suspected would be a VERY welcome gift (Diesel 10 is Healy’s FAVOURITE – can’t think why, he [the engine] really is a nasty piece of work!!) … and I wasn’t disappointed… His little face was an absolute picture of delight!! So much so that I got a text message a bit later that read ‘that Diesel 10 is sooo berry cool’. (I melted…)
So here’s to living in the future – where buying almost anything you need is possible from anywhere in the world, and where seeing the joy such a thing can bring is possible from over 2,000 kilometeres away…
*Not his real name.