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Adventure Beer Comedy Humour Life and Wellbeing Military Peace

I’ve Rolled The Rover Over… Over…

On the weekend where we celebrate 100 years of the Royal Corps Of Signals, I reflect on the 10% of that time I served among her ranks.

Remembrance Day 2019

We crouched in silence in the shadows, in the darkness on the remote ridge above a small country village. Soon the sound we were hoping for started to grow louder as a helicopter approached. This was our lift home and a rare commodity in these parts. As the helicopter made it’s final descent towards us we were blasted in the powerful downdraft from the rotars. I lost my balance and fell over. Then my backpack blew away down the hill. I got up and chased down the hill after it. Suddenly everyone was scattering in all directions and the helicopter promptly lifted off and disappeared. The area my backpack and I were heading towards was mined. The irony is that the mines were there to protect us. This was one of my final actions in the Signals. I think they were glad to be rid of me.

I’m at the back in the centre. Back when I had black hair and weighed a lot less. Trade Training Catterick Garrison 1985

I didn’t join the Signals. I joined the Royal Corps of Transport but after just 5 hours behind the wheel of a vehicle I was banned from ever driving anything and shipped out to the Signals in Catterick Garrison. There was a recommendation to issue me a truck as a weapon of mass destruction.

There were only a few times I found myself facing disciplinary action and they were all for losing things. My ID Card and my Arms Card and then there was the time on exercise when, in the space of 5 minutes, I lost everything except the clothes I stood up in.

I’d been lying in a shell scrape in the woods in the dark. A truck pulled up and we were all told to take our backpacks and load them into it. I decided to leave what’s called my fighting order, or webbing, in the shell scrape. This was against the rules but I figured no one would notice in the dark. On my way towards the truck I heard someone else being screamed at for doing the same so I put my backpack down and headed back to my shell scrape to get my webbing. I couldn’t find my shell scrape. I went back for my backpack but couldn’t find it either. In the end up the entire Platoon had to search the woods for my gear.

I’m front row far right. On exercise in Catterick 1986

As to driving, although I was banned, it didn’t stop me. In Northern Ireland we had been working all night and the guy I was working with was driving tired so he asked if I was able to drive. I said yes though still a learner. We swapped seats and he went to sleep. A short time later he was awoken by me screaming, “How do I f’ng slow down?!” as we screamed towards an Army Checkpoint. I don’t think he was able to sleep for about a month after that.

Then there was the time I did the shower run on Exercise in Norway. This time I did manage to stop but the Rover skidded and nudged the corner of the shower tent. As terrified people ran for their lives I had created the worst possible scenario. Wet naked soldiers running about in the snow in the Arctic.

I also crashed a 2 Man Sailing Boat on Lake Chimsee in Germany (West Germany at that time). Due to my inexperience at sailing I’d been told to drop my sails and row into the harbour. Instead I went in under full sail at very high speed from the centre of the lake. The last thing I saw before impact with the harbour wall was a wee guy screaming, “Achtung!” at me and waving frantically. The impact launched several of his paddle boats right out of the water.

I’ll just finish with a story I’m often reminded of when I meet the guys I served with at 7 Sigs in West Germany. I had been training for a Boxing Competition at the time which involved about 6 weeks of constant training and significant dieting. The OC Squadron decided to give the team a pep talk in the last few hours before the competition but I was absent. As soon as I had got off the scales from the final weigh in I made a B-Line for downtown and was in a local Schnel Imbis cramming in some Gyros and Chips before the fight.

Gyros and Chips gave me a mean left hook. 7 Sigs Boxing Competition, Herford, West Germany, 1988

I wish all the best to everyone who’s served past and present. The very nature of the job meant there were dark times and scary times but there were so many good times. I count my decade in the Signals as one of the best of my life and those who served with me as family. I’m proud to have served even if it was possibly a safer place after I left.

Sergeant’s Mess RAF Brize Norton 1992

Click here to see other posts and videos about my imaginary girlfriend, how I managed to fall out of the window whilst Self Isolating and the giant vagina I thought I’d found in The Louvre.

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Categories
Blogging Comedy Humour Life and Wellbeing Self Isolation Songs Writers

Spot The Difference

As soon as I sat down to start filming I realized my mistake

The picture from Track 1 of the Music Video

I am currently trying to film a Music Video for an EP of love songs I’m recording. I recorded the video for the first track last week. In order to make the whole thing look like it was done during the one night, I went to the trouble of looking out and washing the T-shirt I had on last week. Then I set up the lighting to look exactly the same as it had done last week. As soon as I actually sat down to record however I spotted my mistake.

The picture from Track 2 of the video supposedly only a few minutes later

During the weekend I inflicted a wicked haircut upon myself. So now my choice is to either wait 3 months until my hair grows back or re-record track 1.

Check out the haircut here.

Check out my video of Track 1, The Power Of smile. If you like the music, please Like and Subscribe to my Youtube Channel and this Blog.

The Power Of Smile, the first track I recorded for my new EP

Click here to see other posts and videos about my imaginary girlfriend, how I managed to fall out of the window whilst Self Isolating and the giant vagina I thought I’d found in The Louvre.

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Art Blogging Comedy Humour Life and Wellbeing Pictures Self Isolation

Lockdown Locks

Time to face my fears and expose my head to the shears.

The ‘Before’ Picture
The ‘Just Before’ Picture
If your clippers battery runs out now, self isolate for 3 months!
Maybe I should have just kept it long.
Hope it’s ok at the back…

Click here to see other posts and videos about my imaginary girlfriend, how I managed to fall out of the window whilst Self Isolating and the giant vagina I thought I’d found in The Louvre.

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Art Beer Blogging Comedy Humour Poetry

I Tried To Self Isolate But Fell Out Of The Window

The calamitous tale of my Self Isolation during Covid-19 … and other things…

Before Lockdown
This morning

This is the story about how I tried to Self Isolate but fell out of the window. I was trying to copy the Italians and sing on my balcony but I don’t have a balcony. My story contains the only fart protected by Copyright that I am aware of. There’s also the time I allegedly downloaded porn onto my work PC and it escaped onto the Network. For one incredible day, naked girls were dancing on PC Screens all over the factory. There’s also the love poem to my imaginary girlfriend. She has false teeth, snores like a bison and has a bosom that would break your fall from 50 feet. I could go on but really you should just click the playlist and watch through through. You’ll love it! If you do, remember to like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

Back when I had short hair…
Categories
Humour Life and Wellbeing Mountaineering Travel Trekking

Nepali Flat

Sometimes you have to search deep inside yourself, move past all the doubt and self loathing and in there somewhere you will find your spirit. That naïve and powerful thing of playfulness and adventure that always knew that everything is possible. And you have to nurture it and believe in it because so much is possible when you come to realize how much it believes in you.

If you ever walk the endless and arduous undulations among the valleys and foothills of the Himalayas, what the locals describe as ‘Nepali Flat’, you’ll understand what I mean.

Mera Peak Day 3 Briefing

Sitting exhausted and aching but feeling content in the Tea House at the end of Day 2 of the Mera Trek and Ang, our Lead Guide, called for silence so he could tell us about day 3. ‘Please give us an easy day!’ I silently hoped as he started into the schedule.

Didn’t sound too bad at first. Along a path, a few ups and downs and then we’ll get to see Mera Peak in the distance for the first time. So far so good I thought…

On the trail on Day 3 with Mera Peak above my head in the distance Oct 2017

“We’ll start our decent into the valley…”

“Then we’ll start our decent into the valley,” He continued.

My ears pricked up… how far? I wondered…

“it’s 1,200m down.” He said.

Holy crap! I thought

“And be careful of your footing because it’s very steep and lots of loose scree…”

My though process started swearing profusely.

“We go down for about an hour and then we stop for morning tea break.”

Hold the bloody bus! He’s already described three weeks of walking and all we’ve made it to is morning tea break?!! I hope it’s special tea!!!

Above: Looking across the valley from ‘Tea Break’ to the location of our Tea House on the other side of the valley where we’d be stopping for the night. Oct 2017
Below: Zoomed in view of the Tea Houses where we’ll be stopping for the day

“We stop for lunch.”

“Then down to the bottom of the valley where we stop for our lunch.”

LUNCH?!!!!!! Having just descended 1,200m on a steep slope through loose scree my knees are going to feel like someone’s been playing xylophone on them for a month. I’m going to need 3 hours in a Jacuzzi with a litre of whisky.

A bowl of veg noodles some lemon tea and a 3 year old bar of chocolate isn’t going to work. Surely to God the afternoon walk MUST be easy!! Maybe a steady mile along a tarmac path?

“And then we go up…”

“After lunch we cross a bridge….”

Don’t say it I mentally pleaded, please don’t say it!

“and then we go up….” 

Awwww he said it!

“700m up towards the next valley where we stop at our Tea House for the night.”

He finished with a beaming smile as I cried silently into my look warm Veg Chow Mein.

“By some miracle I was still going.”

Next afternoon after crossing the bridge after lunch and we started our steep 700m ascent through the rocks and lush vegetation of the valley floor roasting in the afternoon sun of the Indian Sub Continent that I realized by some miracle I was still going.

My Group were eagerly climbing ahead and above me already and I plodded along at the back with Newang, the Sherpa who had been assigned to me so I could walk at my own pace. It dawned on me that my body was already exhausted and yet I had no doubt that I would make this 700m climb. The fact was that something far deeper and stronger than my body was driving me on.

Above: High on the Mera glacier at first light on Summit Day. I turned around shortly afterwards due to a mix of exhaustion and the effects of altitude at 6,140m
Below: This is why I do it. Everest over my shoulder taken from the entrance to High Camp on Mera Peak 5,800m Oct 2017