I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Serving the Queen 1

Bradford Mechanics Instititute. Coir matting in the room corner is suspiciously dark. Others standing there, filling a sample glass, must have been over-generous. I strive for control.

RAF Cardington, processing camp. I receive shirts, underpants, KFS and other oddments but no uniform. At 6 ft 1½ in. I am too tall and must wait for my tailor-made working blues and best blues. I have a mug but the tea is intolerable. I must learn to drink it.

RAF Hednesford, basic training ("square bashing") – see pic. Communal life, 24 to a billet, doesn't suit me and I am detested by my peers. I apply to be an officer in order to have a room of my own but lack leadership qualities. We march on a parade ground with alarming contours, caused by coal-mine subsidence.

RAF Hednesford. Preparing for an inspection I use my bare hand to clean beyond a lavatory U-bend; my effort goes unexamined. In a lecture by the padre, through which many sleep from exhaustion, we are told why Bertrand Russell the philosopher is at fault. I want to argue but I too am exhausted.

RAF Hednesford. Foolishly I argue with a screaming drill corporal and am condemned to clean rancid fat from cooking trays. Thereafter I shovel coal. Coal dust adheres to my fatty overalls and I become a Great Depression caricature.

RAF Hednesford. Irritated by my mouth organ playing six of my peers hold me down while a seventh abstracts the instrument. The abstractor, a puny fellow, comes from Lancashire and I feel no pain as he kicks my shins during the subsequent scuffle. Thrilled by my audacity I overwhelm him and he is forced to return my Hohner.


  1. You also learned when not to stoop.

  2. Oh dear. I've just looked up "lavatory," and it seems there is a "British" definition. He's not talking about a sink trap, people.

  3. Ellena: Are you suggesting I might be disrespectful to my Monarch? Perish the thought.

    MikeM: Surely you didn't have have to look up lavatory? You've read enough English authors, haven't you? What's more important is that if you were subjected to some strange time-warp, and you found youself in the present-day armed services, you'd be prepared to do for Obama what I did so effortlessly for Queen Elizabeth II, Fidei Defensor, etc, etc, long may she rumble.