Mail call!

Thought I'd better try it first, got the batrad in so better explain. In FI, the alternative to drinking or should I say the alternative to waiting for the NAAFI to open was to see who could get a reply from the weirdest and most wonderful place written to on a bluey. Paul H from 70 tried the Mouiln Rouge in Paris, Cheltenham's Young Ladies School and NASA amongst others. You just thought of somewhere and off went the bluey. I did manage the Sun but got put on the list for all those horrors to write to. One went on and on about her bugie and it was only after she told me she fed her bugie, bird seed I twigged it was a budgdgdgie.

I tried number 10, what the fcuk, they can't hang you for it. Paul H had already written to his dad who had written to James Pryor the then conservative MP who asked questions in the house. 652 was going public and in true army fashion Paul H was told to shut the fcuk up otherwise he would be stagging on until the Uganda left for blighty. So he wrote to daddy who had a word with Jimmy and it all got forgotten, until now perhaps. Freedom of speech my arris.

I wrote to Maggie, informing her that I was sharing a portakabin with a manic depressive, a military version of Rip Van Winkel and a stupid Scotman who threw his waste food on OUR portakabin roof to annoy US when the seagulls ate it and four guys from 70 who once I had learnt more about them I would let her know.

The food was disgusting, the toilets were disgusting, the work was pointless unless officer's fishing trips were considered essential and I also mentioned the fate of Paul H but named no names. All in all it was far more damaging than what James Pryor asked but being a realist, I knew my letter although replied to was just filed in true civil service fashion.

I did show Kev, our emelet who was was opening a letter from his loved one, a credit card statement and his jaw was still seen bouncing the following week. I showed a couple of others, was considered the winner so in true victory style went and got pished as it was Friday and the 350th anniversary of Charles I's brother's second marriage as a happy hour had to celebrate a real life event.
I thought I'd just continue here about the 652 Sqn AAC trip down south. Not much to do with RAF Coppers but maybe a few urban myths in the making but thought since I got my letter from the PM down there I'd post it in here. Don't want to start a new topic, you'll think it's a takeover bid, another gobby REME just spouting off. You might have that impression already, never mind I'll buy you a beer at the Wallop Air Day, I'm coming over especially, save a parking space for me.

Continuing on from the escapade at the NAAFI there were some sore heads the following morning. We could see our destination from the shore, not FI but our luxury five star cruise liner, the Laughalot. It just remained to see how we would get out to this distant bobbing speck of a ship, sorry boat as I had become a member of C.U.N.T. the campaign for the undermining of naval terms. We learned that we were to be flown out to our destination and were marshalled to a suitable point by the crab coats, it was reminiscent of one man and his dog as some wandered, some strayed and some would definitely not go in the pen but at least the competing shepherds on TV didn't have drunken sheep to deal with.

It was decided that all our kit would go out to the boat first and then came the old and bold under slung load stories where things of varying size and importance had been jettisoned into the sea or on somebody's head. Our luggage swung it's way out to the boat and was dumped unceremoniously on the big flat bit between the steering wheel office and the other end which I refuse to call the flight deck. Our urn soon came and I love having my lungs scorched as you climb into a Wessex. We were deposited on that previously mentioned big flat bit while it buzzed off to pick up some more victims.

The Laughalot because of its special design was not a particularly stable boat and rolled and pitched a few hundred yards off shore. The heavy night at the NAAFI and the unusual boat movement was starting to take its toll and one of us in particular found a position near to all the luggage and fell asleep. A good position but not when the Wessex returned as this was where it wanted to land so a very sleepy and irate squadron member was dragged from his so called ideal position. We did see it happen but only in between coating the side of the boat with vomit as the motion was just too much for our delicate stomachs.

We were allocated a room which was obviously budget class as it had no window round or otherwise. It had bunk beds and the fear of vomit from above led to an almost fight over the top bunks. We settled in, slowly feeling better. Those who were feeling almost alive had found out that you could be sick in a toilet, flush the chain and rush up to the top of the boat, look over the side and watch your freshly deposited vomit being eaten by trigger fish. I instantly Struck trigger fish off my list of alternatives to cod or haddock. Feeling better we explored the boat and discovered the kitchen and the dining room and like a car ferry there was a level for vehicles with even a badminton court of sorts. There was a shop that sold out of date Arabic Mars Bars and where the evening film would be shown. I did say it was five stars.

We would be down south for Christmas but unfortunately had brought the turkey with us. The SNCO, a staff sergeant I had known when he was only inch high was that turkey and not Pete P as I later said going to South Georgia. He had decided without any wisdom that there would be no familiarity between the senior ranks and junior ranks. Yes ok we all knew the score but this was obviously a taste of things to come. This was not looking promising.

"Good morning Sergeant B" I asked greeting a mate. "And how's Sergeant B this morning?" I asked. "Sergeant B is fine" replied Sergeant B. " And what about Sergeant T?" I asked. "Sergeant T is fine" replied Sergeant B. Half an hour later making sure that SSgt B (our illustrious leader) could hear we had discovered how all the senior ranks were. Myself as Corporal S was then asked by Sergeant B how all the others were. A while later everybody's health and welfare state had been enquired about so we went and found somebody else to annoy. I think the familiarity clause was withdrawn or just forgotten about which was good as it wasted a good hour every morning and in the evenings it was like bedtime in the Walton’s.

The boat was all loaded and it was soon time to depart. We had sussed out the boat and limited amount of places you could go. You could walk up and down the left side or you could walk up and down the right side. A sort of promenade deck but sadly no deckchairs. The big flat bit in the middle was clear of suitcases and army sausages and looked like somewhere where there could be the chance we might have to expend some physical energy and how right we were.

We had a briefing from the boat's warrant officer who was a warrant officer (coincidence or what) who told us despite the fact the crew were Chinese, the sort of food that they ate was the sort to avoid at all costs. It was no number six with a double portion of number twelve but sweet and sour seagull's arse and we later found out that trigger fish were part of their diet. Remember the vomit? Thanks but no thanks. He was responsible for the flight deck which was at the blunt end (back) and had overall control of all troops on the ship.

Evening fell and the boat opened its big door at the blunt end and lowered the loading ramp. Lights were turned on and flying fish aiming for the moon smashed into the boat and were greedily picked up by the Chinese crew. A small boat was also launched and a fishing party caught as many of the vomit eating trigger fish as possible. Thank fcuk for compo, we thought and Arabic Mars Bars didn't sound so bad now. We had also discovered that the trigger fish ate not just vomit as a good dump could be traced from toilet pan to trigger fish if you were quick enough. I mentally underlined the note to take trigger fish off my list of alternatives to cod and haddock.

So the crew was prepared, we weren't but that didn't matter and the Laughalot let off the big brake thing they drop in the water and roared off at an undetermined speed as they don't measure it in mph. We were on our way. We enjoyed the boat's hospitality, ate an out of date Mars Bar, watched a crappy video and retired to our room, not forgetting to forget to take an anti malaria tablet as we had stood next to a ditch at Dakar airport Senegal on the way to Ascension and somebody once saw a mosquito but it was probably a fly but we had to take the tablets for twenty-eight days afterwards. We settled down for our first night, rocking gently in our bunks, the sound of the waves and the sound of anti malaria tablets rattling around in lockers.

The trip down was fairly uneventful, we did have to expend physical energy as we thought and it's so much fun carrying a rather heavy senior rank in a slight swell. There wasn't much else in the way of military training, we had some recognition lessons organised by the aircrew, a black blob, another black blob, another black blob but slightly further away. We did some whale watching but didn't see any and almost everybody gave up, Taff H thought we said Wales watching so stuck it a bit longer but in the end it was me sat on the left side watching a couple of whales. Of course without photographic evidence or finger prints or should that be fin prints, nobody believed me. We were all sea sickness tablet addicts by now as the south Atlantic gentle swells were slightly more than we were used to going to the UK crossing the channel. We ate, we slept, we drank, we watched crappy videos and carried rather heavy SNCO's about in the name of PT. What videos we were going to watch was put up on a list and the word got around that Oklahoma was not the musical version but the one where fluid swapping went on and organ playing and badly dubbed panting was heard. The room was packed even in the standing room only section; there was no room to stand as everybody waited with baited whatever eagerly looking forward to saying hello to an old friend that night. The film started and half the room emptied, it WAS the musical version and it was apparently the captain's favourite film.

We soon realised this wasn't a wind up as the crew started fitting the big gats. "Bofors or Oreos" I was told by a so-called expert. I bet that would have upset an Argie pilot, shot down by a biscuit. There's always one and there's usually one that gets it wrong as well. We were close to the FI, the weather was terrible, the anti malaria pills were doing serious damage to the lockers as the boat bobbed up and down in mountainous seas. Then finally we spied land and we entered into the harbour and I saw Lego land for the second time but totally different to the one I went to in Denmark. The weather was changeable, it snowed, it rained, the sun shone and then all three. We spotted Guinevere, the floating dock at Stanley so called because Lancelot kept mounting it. We noticed the dents and scrapes where passion had obviously been running high. Alongside the dock was a ferry. It was a wind up, we were in Scotland or somewhere closer to home as this was the sort of thing that bimbled back and forth across narrow stretches of water. Some bright spark asked if they had brought it down as an under slung load but even that stupid remark was almost totally ignored as we surveyed our future home for the next few months.

The cross channel ferry definitely lost but here anyway was to be the location for our briefing welcoming us to FI and no doubt would squeeze any potential joy or happiness out of our stay. Been on that sort of a briefing before and a definite bunch of killjoys, there must be a killjoy course because the briefings were always similar. We entered the car floor of the ferry. Some guys were playing football but all had bandages on their heads. The floor clearance was perfect for my five foot six inch frame but the budding footballers were much taller. We first watched then listened to the game. "To me, oh you bastrad", "On the wing", "THUD", "I'm clean through", "THUD", "On my head", "THUD", "THUD". The thud was somebody's head hitting the low ceiling but it didn't seem to put them off. I don't suppose you can hurt what isn't there. We all made a mental note not to pick football if there was any choice, even me.

The briefing was the usual, not to run about in minefields, not to resort to drink, not to abuse the wildlife and he did particularly mention sheep which aren't strictly wildlife but had apparently been the centre of attention in somebody's deprived sexual fantasy. I met an old mate there and we discussed at length the fact that he was going home and I was just starting my sentence. I didn't like his use of the word sentence; it all sounded a bit familiar. Just to shut him up, I reminded him of his classic line book entry. "What colour do you want these YELLOW witness marks painted?" was in the book like a flash despite his protestations. I also reminded him of the time at Hanover station where he was the perfect gentleman and decided to take a rather heavy case from an old gentleman and carry it for him. Shame the old gentleman thought he was trying to steal it and shouted for the police. He was at first charged with theft or attempted theft but it was later thrown out. Oh how we laughed, the old gentleman laughed, the Polizei laughed, I don't think anybody else laughed.

So the briefing came to a end and we went our separate ways, I followed the rest of the squadron and we went outside and stood in the snow, rain, sunshine and wind awaiting transport to our new home. Somebody had worked out exactly how long we had to do here in hours which was a bit depressing but I was sure we would have SOME laughs along the way and I was right.
Forgot to mention the crew of the Laughalot so thought I'd add this small paragraph.

We never saw the officers, not really, you'd see a flash of scrambled egg and then it would disappear without trace. The ships warrant officer was the go-between and all matters were dealt with him. You couldn't have these naval officers bothered by the whines and moans of us, just mere riff-raff. The crew we saw on a daily basis were the Chinese crew who you could hear coming from some way as not one of them had laces in their deck boots. You heard a faint shuffling in the distance, it would get closer and louder and closer and five foot nothing of Chinaman shuffled past on his way to one of his many jobs.

The one we knew the best was called Chippy and he was a carpenter but he was also the plumber and also second in charge to the ship's warrant officer on the flat bit where the helicopters were. We never saw him with a hammer and we never actually saw much wooden so wondered where he exercised his carpenters skills but you could regularly hear the sound of a plunger in one of the traps and Chippy throwing his ring up as he cleared a particularly heavy duty jobby.

We enquired about the pay they were on but were told that while it might mean an existence in Hong Kong, it wouldn't support living in a semi in East Grinstead. One of infantry was intrigued as one of the Chinese characters was from Aberdeen and this owner of the regimental braincell was confused as the Chinaman didn't sound Scottish. We tried explaning but one Aberdeen is obviously enough for THE braincell so we left him in his ignorance. We never learned the true rate of pay but we did see the effects of a pay driven crew as you couldn't move on the flat bit where flight takes place, as Sunday was double time. Twenty-odd Chinese shuffled about releasing tie-down straps and the pilot suffered severe thumb fatigue. When he wanted to land the crew had to be marshalled themselves to give the poor pilot room to put down.
I was lucky enough to be picked to go down to South Georgia. The Laughalot was to be my home again for a further five days and as the Coldcream Gaurds were to be picked up from their lovely Shackleton Hotel, I was instantly promoted to local, acting, unpaid sergeant as did an AAC full screw (Steve surname forgotten) and so had the dubious pleasure of sharing a cabin with Mad Mike the OC and the rest of the travelling party. It even had a window and was a far superior cabin to the one we had occupied from Ascension.

So one Scout and one Gazelle were flown onto the big flat bit at the back of the boat and tied down to prevent any accidents or the Chinese crew breaking them for scrap or eating any edible parts. The illustrious party consisted of, going in order of importance (to me), myself, fellow REMEs Dave D, Colin M and another Steve surname forgotten. The AAC contingent was made up of the first Steve surname forgotten, Geoff P, Alan H, Ian surname forgotten, Mad Mike and lastly and least (popular) Phil B.

The boat was taking an infantry regiment down to replace the Coldcream Gaurds and if I remember was the Greenjackets who at one time had been classified as more of a risk to security than the Argies as they were banned from Stanley and had thrown a chef out of a coastel window. Our anti-malaria tablets were still rattling about in lockers in the cheaper seats or cabins which they now occupied and you just had to laugh as they complained that the seasickness tablets didn't work. Still no chance of getting malaria then.

The boat was also occupied by knobs and hangers-on, off on a jolly at the company's expense but invariably they had officer status so were kept well away from us mere mortals. They dined with the officers and apparently had specially reserved penguins and elephant seals to look at. We would have to make do with the rest. The journey down was relatively uneventful. The engine blanks on the Gazelle invaded Argentina or were last seen heading that way. The blades were folded and in the wind had tried to batter the shite out of the head and did some damage before we had even started. There was a serious discussion over whether the Gazelle was now just excess baggage but it was decided (by all) that it would be classified as an acceptable defect until we returned to Stanley. You could tell it was serious as somebody actually waited before getting another beer.

We saw an albatross, we saw another and then one more and then an albatross that was slightly smaller than the first three so the larger ones were classified as megatrosses. The cabs actually flew and the Scout feeling left out developed electrics problems which were classified the same as the head damage on the Gazelle as an acceptable defect until return to Stanley. We were beginning to see a bit of a pattern. Of course being on the back of a boat, the constant threat is of salt and one of my highly technical jobs was to comp wash the Gazelle which involved hanging a hose vaguely close the intake and washing the salt off with fresh (ish) water.

Eventually we reached South Georgia and saw the mountains and the glaciers and more sodding albatrosses. A penguin tried to mount the Laughalot but just got a headache as it smacked into the side trying to jump up. It reminded me of that Australian girl I once went out with, she was over six foot and I had problems mounting her when standing up, solved it by standing on the pavement while she stood in the road. And they say romance is dead, sorry wandering off the subject a bit.

We sailed into Grytviken and the crew did the things that stop boats floating away. On the far side of the bay we could see the disused whaling station, it somehow reminded me of Tidworth and we were nestled alongside the buildings that constituted home sweet home for the poor sods for the next few months. The Shackleton hotel was in the distance and was painted in a fetching but slightly predictable shade of green. There were seals and elephant seals littered along the beach and reminded me of the park in Hildesheim where those German lovelies would flaunt it all in the park in summer. Thinking about it, the elephant seals were a bit slimmer.

The infantry did what infantry do and we weren't interested so they did it without being stared at. One of the Chinese crew was disciplined as he had caught a penguin and was taking it back for tonight's evening meal. Ingenious though it was, a broom handle and a noose, he was told that sweet and sour penguin was off the menu for the foreseeable future. Even the penguin hadn't been too bothered, it hadn't been invited to dinner for ages. Some were already stroking the fur seals which were cuddly and sweet and would have your hand off but as long as you were careful you were ok. The crew spotted this and one very animal friendly crewman was seen patting a bull elephant seal. The crewman broke various world records as the elephant seal, fed up of being petted, lunged at him. The crewman was last seen looking for polar bears and we didn't have the heart to tell him his search would be in vain, well not yet.

We explored the old whaling station, spotting a huge penguin colony on the way. We stopped and watched the colony as the ONE penguin wandered around wondering where its mates were. The whaling station was like the Marie Celeste as things had been just left lying and there was even film in the projection room in the cinema. We had been told not to touch anything or take anything and respected this as I didn't have an interest in fcuk off coils of rope or harpoon heads and even for downtown Hildesheim, it was a bit of overkill. We wandered around and wandered back to the ship passing the solitary penguin that was still looking for his mates.

It was that particular evening that I besmirched my name (again) as an evening turned into a late evening and turned into a very late evening and an early morning and all because a WRAC wanted to show off her drinking skills. It was a close shave but she retired first but Mad Mike was not impressed that I was still in my pit at ten in the morning, stinking of drink. I've never seen a woman drink like that and I had to call on my reserves of strength to stay just in front. I take my hat off to her which was incidentally the only thing I took off. Even with all the drink she remained somebody to talk to and didn't suddenly become beautiful as can happen. Been there, done it, never got the STD.

On surfacing I heard that the post office would be shutting soon and it was the last chance to get a first day cover actually signed by the OC who was postmaster and justice of the peace and head dish and bottle washer and any other job you could think of, so dressed rapidly and wobbled down the gangplank to get my first day issue. Myself and Colin M were lucky enough to be dropped off by Scout at a penguin colony and spent an hour with thirty thousand king penguins for company. The later trip to South Georgia would test the aerodynamics of penguins but we were quite content to just take in the views. So happy snapped the penguins to death and back, dodged the elephant seals and got followed everywhere by small white birds that were waiting for you to have a dump. Disappointed them but thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and got picked up again by the Scout. Did wonder what would have happened if the Scout had gone u/s but there was a hut on the edge of the bay where scientists had spent months so didn't dwell on it too long.

Back on the Laughalot the annual cull of the reindeer was just starting and one gaurdsman dressed in Day-Glo once only suit was dispatched complete with Lee Enfield on Exercise Bambi Bash. We did ask if he was going to creep up on them using the natural cover and his fcuk off Day-Glo suit. Even he saw the funny side of that. So the Gazelle came back with cargo net full of dead reindeer and you couldn't get near the flat bit where the cabs landed as crewman appeared from nowhere and a reindeer was probably butchered before it got down the stairs. Can't remember how many got topped but he flat bit at the back of the boat ran red with blood.

We also had time to give a jolly to a couple of the crew, one of which was the one who had been looking for the polar bears. Sorry we had to burst his bubble but he was still sure that the reason he hadn't seen any penguins was that the polar bears had eaten them. The two crewmen were the fire crew for the helicopter bit of boat and so with once only suits on now were fireproof and waterproof. So the time to leave came and we slid out of the harbour with just the one task left to complete. We had to deliver mail and supplies to scientists on Bird Island. They were there for six months studying the albatross and it mainly involved weighing their crap and seeing that they've eaten. Nice job if you can get it I suppose but there were NO volunteers to go there. Rumours were that they would be mincing around in DMS and ballet tutus, so I erred on the edge of caution and let somebody else go. The cab did arrive back safely with crew's virginity safe and sound and so the flying was at an end and the Gazelle was put to bed, I rushed off and got my hose.

The way back was totally uneventful, albatrosses, more albatrosses and a few megatrosses and then we saw the familiar colours of Lego land or Port Stanley. We talked about the next trip to South Georgia and who was going down there and that they would be there for Christmas but with no turkey but I said that they did have Pete P but that wasn't very nice but everyone laughed. Pete P didn't when he heard it as it went in the line book with my name as the contributor. Pete P was the oldest crewman in the world but apart from being a bit too old and bold sometimes wasn't too bad. It was only a joke and he laughed himself though that was three years later.

So the holiday over it was back to work, roll on Friday, there's another happy hour and no more Coldstream Guards.
As usual forgot something, that's why I've never written a book, one not good enough and two you can't send out amendments after it's published.

There was a bit more flying going on than I mentioned. We saw the skid tracks in the snow on the top of a ridge where Mad Mike had gone skiing. He also had a nervy moment when caught in a down draught and even though pulling full power, he was heading towards the water at an alarming rate of knots. Managed to fly out of it and was glad we were doing something else more mundane and boring but less life threatening. He was a good pilot but you didn't have to wonder why everybody called him Mad Mike.

Went up in the Gazelle and went up and up, good views, overdose of happy snapping, reached ten thousand feet and came down again and couldn't hear a thing for days afterwards. Got a wonderful one of the altimeter, can't see what it reads, could just be sat on the deck somewhere. Was advised to swallow hard to get rid of inner ear fcuk up so swallowed until I fell over, it just cleared itself but liked the constant swallowing and took it up as first a hobby then a way of life.
Just been reminded of an incident that happened while serving in the FI.

It was summer in Stanley. You could tell as the rain fell less, was slightly warmer and was generally less wind assisted. It never reached the dizzy heights of the UK or Germany but it was hot enough to roll up your shirt sleeves and even sometimes to take said shirt off. It was a Sunday, a day off and the weather was lovely. The sun shone down on our five star luxury portakabins and blinded several seagulls that were stupid enough not to wear sunglasses that day.

The lowlight of the day was over. This was brunch and this was gone and long forgotten except for that nagging stomach cramp and the sore arrse due to excessive wiping. Those that could read and write, read and wrote and those who celebrated the true meaning of a Sunday, started the process of drinking your self stupid or more stupid in some cases. The high tech Commodore 64 was warming up and the predecessor of Football Manager was in its umpteenth decade and Stanley United had won the treble again and was taking Europe by storm. Of course there had been some cheating going on and the thirteen billion in transfer funds came in handy.

The morning progressed, each taking advantage of the free time. Blueys were written, somebody tried to find another radio station apart from FIBS and failed, people drank, and people contemplated their navels and just waited for the NAAFI to open. Then the magic hour arrived and the majority rushed to the green portakabin of the NAAFI for some loss of reality juice. A couple of guys went to the gym which was another portakabin and contemplated pumping some iron. We were queuing outside the NAAFI, contemplating pumping some tin. Finally the doors were opened by a grade three honey monster with two stripes and the fun started.

NAAFI wenches of both sexes received two stripes for reasons still unknown. Rumours were that it was to keep all of those without two stripes under control but they were treated with the contempt they deserved. The festivities progressed and reality was slowly being put in its rightful place, on the back burner. Then somebody had a brainwave. I would like to claim it but I don't usually do brainwaves so it must have been somebody else.” We’ll have a roof party!" shouted the genius and owner of the best brainwave since the Swiss Army knife. Plans were instantly made. We had the roof, it was the flat bit on top of our portakabin and all those months we'd been calling it a ceiling.

A large quantity of cans were purchased which of course had to be stuck down again as all cans were sold opened. We had asked the honey monster, we had pleaded with her, we had tried to appeal to her better nature, we had cursed her, questioned her parentage but each and every can had been dutifully opened. So half an hour and half a roll of Harry Black later the beverages were ready for transfer to the roof. So with an excellent variety of drink, we made our way to the roof. We had three choices of drink, Carlsberg, McEwans Export or go thirsty so everybody was catered for.

The expectations had been great but sadly the reality was that we were on a roof and apart from a good supply of ale, there was nothing to do. The sun was blinding us shining down on the almost white roof of the portakabin but as long as you could find a beer, that didn't really matter. The weather was lovely but at this high altitude, the wind was stronger so some that stripped started to dress again and even went down to find warmer clothing.

So the beer flowed, the sun shone, the wind blew and boredom set in accompanied by the early stages of alcohol poisoning. I drifted off into a troubled sleep. Troubled as I was, I still had beer to drink and a reputation to keep up. Each of us had been entitled to a few days R&R. Some went adventure training, one went to stay on a farm and castrate lambs which wasn't my idea of fun but I stayed in the portakabin for those few days only leaving for the calls of nature, the sound of the NAAFI opening or a trip to the West Store to buy boxes of Bulgarian Riesling to top up my alcohol levels.

I was half awake as there was some horse play going on and wondering what a horse was doing on the roof, I managed to open my eyes just in time to see our greenie full screw take two steps backwards when one step was all there was to the edge of the roof. A short cry followed, and then a horrendous crunch as said greenie hit the nice rocky ground that separated the huts. The roof party came to an immediate halt as we made our way back to terra firma and tried to find out if we were going to be one greenie down at work.

For somebody who had landed on his arrse, his face looked bad but then he did look like that a lot of the time. His lip was cut, his arms were grazed but we thought that maybe our diagnostic powers were not quite as good as they could have been so somebody went to phone for the duty driver to take him to the med centre. During this time, we tried to carry him to the toilets to try and wash some of the blood off and managed to drop him on the rocks only twice. Medical practice really suffers after a roof party and our attempts at it probably did more harm than good. We eventually got him to the toilets and he managed to wash off some of the blood and drank some of the very unfamiliar liquid called water.

The duty driver arrived and all of a sudden for again reasons unknown, I was chosen to accompany him to the med centre. It was the most efficient display of synchronized body swerving I've ever seen but I didn't see any potential problems but then that was the Carlsberg that had decided that. The ride to the med centre was a bumpy one, I can't remember if Steve sat or stood but I'm pretty sure he stood. I was in the back trying to come to terms with my Carlsberg. The duty driver and I carried Steve into the med centre, improving on my last attempts by only dropping him the once. The duty driver explained what had happened or what he thought had happened and Steve was put into one cubicle and I was put into another.

I sat in the cubicle wondering why I had been offered such privacy when an unusually attractive nurse (female) came in and started to examine me. Not wanting to put her off and not having had female hands on me for what seemed like years, I let her carry on. She then asked me how far I had fallen to which I gave her my "I'm full of Carlsberg" stupid look and asked her to repeat the question. As she found out that I wasn't a victim of the great Stanley portakabin roof joint suicide pact, all caring disappeared from her face as if a plug had been pulled but she did tell me she had started with me as I had looked FAR WORSE than Steve.

So with my conscience clear but with the remnants of an erection after a fondling from the nurse, I waited to see what was happening with Steve. The nurse called in a doctor who called in another nurse and I sat there with the duty driver wondering at modern science and wondering when it might reach the Falklands. Eventually after the cubicle had been filled and emptied several times, obviously some sort of record attempt. We were told that Steve would be ok, no lasting damage. She did say that he looked a bit dazed but I replied that he usually looked like that and shouted a goodbye to him and left.

The outcome was that Steve had a severely bruised coccyx and when I went to visit him later, he was sat on something that would have threatened an ocean going liner but cooled the parts other medication couldn't reach. Roof parties were forbidden on safety grounds and life just went back to normal or as normal as it would ever get. Steve went in the squadron book, I went in the squadron book but I feel quite proud of my part in the affair and I had no problems sitting down with a Carlsberg and telling the story again and again and again...................but it is a true story, honest.

A not so fab four on the Laughalot near South Georgia

Note the albatross who insisted on being in shot.

And twenty years of nicotine build up on the piccy.

One dumb animal and some penguins at Gypsy Cove.

Nonchalant posing near Gypsy Cove

Posing nonchalantly in Stanley.

Last one, thank fcuk.

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