02 Jan 16. Morning all, this is a laarge man in King’s Lynn trying to bore people with his mundane life.
I had Pat & Julie around for a Spanish themed meal, it was anti-pasta, paella and dessert. The anti-pasta and paella were a piece of cake as I do them regularly, but having never cooked a Spanish dessert I thought I better experiment first.
My first concoction was a Strawberry Flan and I’m not sure if it went wrong or not, but I blended a pound of strawberries, 6 eggs, some sugar and a can of evaporated milk and cooked it all for 30 minutes in the oven; the result was a bland boring strawberry thick mousse type thing and the worst thing wasn’t the lack of taste, but the texture. Imagine if you will having a good solid poo and then using toothpicks or something to pull it apart, in the interest of science of course, nothing perverted here; that was the thick stodgy consistency of the dessert.
So then I tried Almond Cake, which also went wrong, twice. I could not get it to set in the middle, so I gave up and soaked strawberries in liquor and served them with vanilla ice cream; however, I think I know where I went wrong and will try again in a couple of weeks.
Maxine broke her foot whilst on holiday in Vienna, turns out she may have tripped over a pickpocket, possibly the crappiest one ever. The goal of any good pickpocket is to score and get away undetected; this one seems to not score and prevents any follow up by getting his mark to trip over him because he’s too close to her rear. Having read that I have to hope he was a pickpocket and not pervert – that’s my job!
Because she didn’t realise she had broken her metatarsal she then spent four days walking around Austria sightseeing, before having her foot seen to upon her return to England. So the long and short of it is that a week before the Christmas dinner she was hosting for the family she was bundled up in plaster and could only move around with the aid of two crutches, which for those of you who haven’t tried, really puts a crimp on cooking, cleaning, and really just about anything else.
So I have spent Christmas either staying over at her house to help or driving back and forth every few days to make sure she is okay. Christmas Eve the hospital took the plaster off and said there’s nothing they can do, so just let it heal naturally; so this meant she spent Christmas Day and beyond still using the two crutches because of the pain, but also having to be very careful that she didn’t knock it or have some clumsy oaf bump in to it.
Because I had to cook Christmas dinner and help host the family, I had one glass of prosecco the whole day; after the Christmas in Afghan, it was the soberest I have been on Christmas Day since I was a teenager.
Discovered that Facebook does targeted adverts, I never really thought about it much until recently. Sarah gets adverts for pets stuff, children’s clothes and stuff, Matt gets adverts for gambling and watches; me, I get adverts for men’s incontinence pads – how did they know?
Somebody in the house went for a crap the other day and it must have been a magnificent one because they went in to panic mode afterwards. I have no problem with walking up the stairs after somebody’s been for a dump, after all it’s part of communal living occasionally walking in to a poo-cloud when you go upstairs, but as pungent as it may be its natural.
In this case somebody who shall remain nameless (really) decided to conceal/cover the smell with deodorant; so going up the stars I thought who ever had come out of the shower had used a can of deodorant that was corrupted, but no – it took me a couple of breaths to realise the poo fugue – deodorant mix I was smelling was an attempt to cover up a healthy bowel movement, but the trouble is I now keep sniffing my armpits to make sure that when I get stressed, I don’t give of the same smell
Not too sure if this is true, but one of the girls in my office was telling me that one of the women on base here is a petite little thing and one of the big, roughy-toughy rocks who was at least twice her mass put his hand up her skirt during a social event, so in order to disengage, she punched him in the throat and he backed off. The next day, the masculine rock went to the RAFP and reported her for assault, and because she didn’t report him for sexual assault first, she was charged and punished.
If this story is true it shows me there is three things wrong with the RAF; first that he thought it was alright to sexually assault a woman, never mind the fact that she was half his weight; second, a gunner, a person who is trained to fight and kill was taken out by a five foot nothing woman, imagine if Liam Neeson in ‘Taken’ went with his philosophy “I have a particular set of skills, I will find you and I will let you give me a kicking” and third; that a gunner would actually go to the RAFP and whinge “Last night I molested a young woman but she hit me and I’m not happy; what are you going to do about it?” His bosses must be absolutely cringing at having somebody like that in their squadron.
hopefully one thing will be right – her annual report will show that she demonstrates Initiative, Powers of Communication, Physical Stamina, Courage & Values, and oh yes, doesn’t take sh1t from anyone.
Last night was New Year’s Eve and was without a doubt one of the worst ever in the Drake calendar. My neighbour’s Mark, Chris and I were going to the posh sounding Ouse Amateur Yacht Club to see in the New Year; the evening started with me donning my best Hawaiian Shirt and going around theirs for a pre-drink drink.
While waiting for the taxi I had two 333ml bottles of Stella and one finger’s worth of Jack Daniel’s Winter Jack Apple Punch; it was warmed up in a saucepan because, apparently, you know, that’s the proper way to drink it. How to describe the sensation? Try mixing warm Cat’s piss mixed with battery acid and you’ll have an idea of the taste and effect.
The taxi dropped us off at the entrance to a very narrow old passageway that led down to the grandly named King’s Lynn ferry (it’s a small boat) and the club entrance was a simply a single plain wooden door inset into the wall with minimal signage. It was like the Norfolk version of Fight Club, you press a buzzer and they open the door remotely, and it as so old inside that Carling Black Label has pride of place on the bar.
The inside of the club was like something from a 1960s/1970s social club, and we were probably the youngest there, the table across from us had brought their own food in Tupperware type containers and were having a picnic while they listened to the band. Let’s talk about the band; two guys who comprised said band were the worst live music I have heard in my life. The police should have been summoned because they brutally murdered just about every song they sang. I say sang, to be honest, that’s not really what they did, punished the audience for making them work on NY Eve.
After fifteen minutes we had had enough and walked around to Bar Red where we paid a quid to get in and it was worth more. The live band in there were brilliant and the dance floor was full of people showing what alcohol and live music is capable of producing – a large number demonstrating through the medium of epilepsy how uncoordinated they can be.
Once we got to Bar Red and I realised that I had the worst case of indigestion ever, as in somebody’s put a blowtorch in to your stomach, indigestion. My opening drink was a bottle of mineral water and ten minutes later I was almost doubled up in pain and so did the only thing I could think of, I left and walked home.
Halfway home I managed to paint about twenty-five metres of the road with Apple Jack and Carling, and got tooted at by a couple of passing cars who seemed to be impressed with my performance – motto of the story, never drink crap drinks, especially *gimmick drinks and crap lager.
So in total, I had about four pints over the whole evening, seemingly puked up double that amount down half the length of the street and just to cap it all off, as I got to bed with a belly full of anti-acids the world decided to mock me and strike midnight and every bastard and his twin brother let off fireworks for the next half hour.
Then as a bonus, the retards opposite me, whose household motto is ‘Selfishness is the way forward;’ allowed their party to go on to about half three, but luckily for me and everyone else on the green they decided to have a fight out the front which meant the police were there by four o’clock and I finally managed to get some sleep.
I (nearly) have a new downstairs toilet; it looks nice but the stress of having it sorted has taken years off my life. This isn’t a reflection of the process or quality, but of the fact that I hate anything to do with DIY – a new nice toilet does not compensate for the years it has knocked off my life.
Love – still no love, it turns out that masturbation doesn’t count as a real relationship – who knew! Trouble is I am now not sure how to go into a real relationship, probably never did. I am now reasonably obese and comfortable with un-ironed clothes, licking the plate when I’ve finished eating and the smell of my own farts (unless I’ve been drinking bitter all night, and then I draw the line!)
A friend of mine has beaten me to the punch and published his first novel, it’s available on the Kindle from Amazon and it’s 0.99pence; please go and buy it and see what you think. It’s by Robert Suzam and is called ‘The Warrior Complex’.
That’s it for Dec, I’m sure I’ll find some rubbish to waffle on about in January.
*Mark, I will get you back for that!
24 Nov 15. Being old I now have a few more aches and pains and went to see the doctor for some advice, he was a locum and had spent a significant number of years practising in Australia, and it turns out that the Australian healthcare system is rather straight to the point, blunt, one could say.
After an initial consultation and a visit to a physio type person for an assessment, I went back to the doc for the results and he gave it to me straight ‘Sgt Drake, you’re fat, you need to lose at least four stone!’ When I suggested chemotherapy as a weight loss programme he wasn’t amused, turns out he had a friend who had chemotherapy; but in my defence, his mate’s cured and has lost loads of weight.
This past month I had to go to Worthy Down for a course on how to do my job, which was useful as I’ve been out of trade for three years. When I looked at the attendance list I saw there was a woman from Marham also attending so I called her and offered to drive, which she accepted. She was a very nice person and by the end of the second hour of the trip I knew her whole life; which to be honest, from what she was saying, made me grateful I lived my life and not hers.
Travelling down the M11 late Sunday afternoon, when the world should have been quiet we ran in to one of those traffic jams that seemed to have been caused by nothing, and after an hour of travelling at five miles per hour everyone just speeded up.
I expected to see a car engulfed in flames or something else equally dramatic and there was nothing at all. I wonder if it was like one of those spontaneous mob/crowd dances you see on TV, where they all agree to meet up and amaze all present with their co-ordinated dance moves, but in this case they all agreed to show up in their cars and fuck me off with just how slow they could go.
The other thing about traffic jams is that they bring out the both the selfishness of some people and the mundanity of others. There are always one or two dicks in their cars who take a look at the long river of creeping red lights ahead of them and think ‘I know what help improve both the situation and the mood of all present, I’ll lane hop to gain a few car lengths over the people ahead of me, and demonstrate that even at 5 miles an hour how a cock can stand proud.’ The other type of person is me, the person who puts the music on, opens a bottle of mineral water and a bar of dark chocolate* and relaxes and goes with the flow.
By the time we had got to Bishops Stortford the mineral water was making me well aware of my age and we pulled in for a pee and a coffee. That is to say pee first then buy coffee after, not both at the same time – that would have got me thrown out of Starbucks. In the toilet I discovered that the travelling community (car drivers, not gypsies) is again split in to two different factions; those who lift the toilet seat to pee and those who like toilet seats covered in a variety of yellow stains.
When I say variety, I mean it, there was at least three different shades of yellow; this means that either one minger went through a veritable rainbow of the yellow spectrum, or there was a gang of them attempting to piss each other’s stains off, in other words, after the first bloke those following him thought ’Fuck-it, I’m not touching that, but I’ll see if I can outperform him.’
Once in the Sgts’ Mess at Worthy Down I made two discoveries; 2-ply toilet paper and a limited supply of hot water; so in other words, only slightly better than the Mess at Honington, it seems the mess has four boilers but only one is working, so it was a case of first come, first gets a hot shower. Laying in bed and looking up at the ceiling I noticed a couple of stickers with a large lower-case ‘a’ and thought what numpty would stick Amazon stickers on the ceiling?
The next day whilst in the classroom and concentrating on the lesson with my hands behind my head and staring up at the ceiling I noticed the same stickers and thought ‘Wow, he’s really persistent.’ But later on when I stood up and walked under it and read the small writing that was under the large ‘a’ and realised that actually they were stickers warning the ceiling contained asbestos and that I not breath in asbestos dust or it would be hazardous to my health; good – because I really needed that warning to stop myself from damaging the surface so I could get my daily fix of toxicity.
The water in my room at Worthy Down comes out cloudy and takes a minute or so to settle down in to clear water; it genuinely comes out in to the glass with the consistency/texture of a cloud, that is to say you can’t see through it all until it settles down, still, mix it with scotch and it tastes alright. It must be alright to drink as there are none of the usual signs anywhere saying ‘Do not drink the water.’
As part of the course we visited a place in Gosport called the JPAC, which because it administers the pay for all three services is considered tri-service; in reality I’m sure what I’ve always considered the fourth arm, the Royal Marines, are delighted to be considered so insignificant that they don’t count as a service.
As the building is tri-service the inside of it has been painted in the tri-service colours, that is to say two shades of purple, a light and a dark, and I suspect the person/s who came up with the colour scheme had never seen an engorged penis up close because that’s what the colours reminded me of; however, I quickly add in that I don’t spend a lot of time around erect penises, so I’m going on memory here.
Staying with the subject of willies if there’s one thing i’ve learned from watching European porn – IKEA furniture/tables can take some real punishment, and I wonder why they don’t use that in their adverts, show a couple shagging away on the STORNÄS model of table and say ‘If it can take Sven pounding Inga, it can take a six place table set, but may we suggest you wipe the table down first.’ Bound to be a winner!
I’m now off for two weeks and other than the occasional planned lapse, I’m on a diet and gym bender.
*But only when the vehicle is stationary and the handbrake is engaged.
03 Nov 15. More hot air from Honington, I have been here for a month now and it feels as if I have never left the PSF world. The job isn’t as bad as I remember it, but then I have support here which I never thought I had last time I was in this environment. The people I’m working with are all quality, and easily as good as the guys and girls I worked with last time.
I currently sit at the back of the office protected by a line of SAC’s and a Cpl and yet people still manage to make their way to my desk. Each person then creates in me a sense of panic for a few seconds until I realise I can actually answer/help them, which also shows that either my job isn’t that difficult or I’ve remembered more than I thought.
I have discovered that not all the showers in the barrack block are shit, just my one. If I walk down the corridor to the next shower room the water pressure is better, sometimes, but I still get to experience someone crapping experience in what feels like 3D; that is to say sounds and smell, but not sight, so I suppose it’s really 2 D
The military has always had a less than stellar record when it comes to toilet paper, I remember when I joined up it issued toilet paper that was translucent and could double as tracing paper, that is providing the thing you wanted to trace was no bigger than 10 x 15 cm; but you couldn’t use it without scrunching it up first – if you didn’t, it was so smooth and shiny that it would slide off your arse and never really achieved much.
Honington, and I suspect the rest of the military has moved on down to an even cheaper and nastier paper – single ply; the rest of the world uses in-between two to four two-ply, but we must special order ours to punish the squaddies.
The justification for using single-ply is most probably on the grounds of cost, but most people (me) will use at least ten single-ply for each wipe, so negating any cost savings to the military and also contributing to global pollution. This bog-roll also introduces a couple of new terms to the English language, the first is Toilet Tissue Tear Factor (TTTF) where you have to take extra care using it, which leads to the second thing; Fear of Finger Penetration (FFP), which is a real fear I can tell you, but it’s easily beaten by using practically half the bog roll each time you visit the stall.
Staying on the subject of paper, I forgot that the RAF also buys its photocopying paper from the cheapest supplier and as a result it’s a sort of light battleship grey, which is great if you are a warship, but not if you are a letter.
When we post out something, the person/Org receiving it must know it’s from the RAF due to its sheer cheap crappiness; I suspect that even the Zimbabwean Air Force uses better quality paper than we do, but then I suppose the money saved can be used to improve the food for the lads, oh wait!
After three weeks in the BB with a least two cold or underpowered showers a week and still no central heating enough is enough, and as of the 19th Oct started commuting daily, let’s see how this turns out.
As I drive back and forth to work I pass a sign saying ‘Combat Paintball’ why is there a need to put the word Combat in there, surely it’s redundant; by it’s very nature it’s combat, whilst paintballing your are not knitting, or cooking or waterskiing; although that said, waterskiing paintballing would be pretty cool, although with the potential for greater casualties than poxy ordinary Combat Paintballing.
This month’s targets for my ire are Corsa’s. Coming in the other day I got stuck behind Y-Reg Corsa the other day; why, if you are in a knackered old Y-Reg Corsa that struggles with acceleration or indeed the fucking speed limit, would you go in to the overtaking lane and block all the other faster cars and condemn them to following a dustbin lorry for approximately ten miles.
Then the next day coming home I got stuck behind another Corsa who at each roundabout slowed virtually to a halt and then looked right before moving off, why? At every roundabout I acknowledge it’s necessary to slow down, but to actually get on to the roundabout and then look just slows everyone behind down. Henceforth, these people shall be known as PeRson in Corsa (Knowingly going Slow) or PRICKS for short.
That’s it for this month.
28 Sep 15. One of the shower cubicles is raised about 6” so you have to step up in to it, but the doorway is extra narrow and is about 4-6 inches narrower than my shoulders, so the only way I can get in is to turn slightly sideways and step up. The other day the floor was soaking wet, and between the step up and side turn I ended up skidding and doing the splits. Well, the Jim version, which is basically a pathetic sort of sideways lunge which pulled my towel off and on the floor. At that moment another bloke came in to be presented with a naked large man seemingly trying to dip his nuts in to a puddle. So I did the best I could and said “Morning!”
Staying with the theme of showers, I used the scrunchie to lather up and then lost water pressure and ended up having to actually rub the shower head all over me to achieve anything at all; too be honest I felt a bit sorry for the person who used the shower after me, but then upon reflection I realised this loss of pressure seems to happen so often I can’t be the first person to resort to the rubbing method of personal hygiene, and then I realised that the shower head I had just rubbed over my body and face has probably been down somebody else’s arse crack.
I arrived at work on Monday the 21st, went to C4I to initialise my Honington DII account and was told it would take about four working days sort out; it actually took nine working days, and during that time I was able to a very limited amount of work, and my Cpl had to continue bearing the burden. Some might say that has actually always been the lot of my Cpl’s, but that was because of my incompetence, not a 3rd party. At NATO many people moan and complain at how cumbersome and slow things are, but at least there they turned around a request for a computer account within four hours and at the most, twenty-four hours.
25 Sep 15. When I come out of my room in the barrack block the corridor lights come on automatically, and as I then walk down said corridor they spring to life in front of me, but as I found to my cost, no such magic exists when you go down the stairs. I got halfway down the fucking things before I realised I was on my own, and that the god of electronic illumination wasn’t going to pay me a visit, and at roughly that point* I missed the next step and discovered that: A) Gravity is seemingly more efficient in stairwells, and B) it’s not the fall that hurts, but the impact!
I lay there for what seemed like minutes, however, was probably seconds, wondering how many bones I had broken; but due to a surfeit of padding I was just bruised. But as I lay there surrounded by washing tablets, had someone have come in it would have looked like a large man lying on the middle landing, in the foetal position, being worshipped by lots of bluey/green tiny plastic pillow type things.
*I think, but at about that point, to be honest I was a bit busy with a flying lesson and trying to say ‘Oh fu*k!’
21 Sep 15 During my leave I’ve been doing some work in the garden which I hate doing, and whilst out shopping discovered what the initials B&Q stood for – ‘Overly expensive and not a brilliant range of goods’; in particular, garden sheds. Matt and I had great fun using hammers and brute strength to smash down the old shed which was in the process of falling down. Well Matt used brute strength but since I was using a ladies hammer I just really tapped a lot and left the manly stuff to Matt.
While assembling the new bike shed I drilled in to the fingernail on my thumb, but because I’m a man and not a cry-baby* I carried on and the end result was a shed with a large number of red smears, which luckily for me were all washed away when it rained.
I have decided to replace all the grass in the back garden with slate because as Maxine puts it “It looks nice when it rains!” I don’t care what it looks like when it rains, when it rains I’m inside with a coffee and my Kindle or the TV not like some poncy 19th centuary philosopher staring moodily outside wondering upon the meaning of life. But since I don’t have to mow slate, it wins.
During the course of what I can only describe as an emotional couple of days I discovered, sharply, the difference between a spade and a shovel the dictionary states that a shovel is – (Quote) ‘a tool resembling a spade with a broad blade and typically upturned sides, used for moving coal, earth, snow, or other material.’; I quote James Drake – ‘A fucking hard way to dig up your garden.’ I spent several hours having fun digging up grass and soil to a depth of a couple of inches and then, using the shovel (correctly), a ladies spade and a dustpan Maxine, Craig and I spent about half an hour transferring about a ton of slate to said hole.
About halfway through, Craig, who had ordered the slate for me and works at the slate depot and is an expert on all things slate related, said when we had pretty much finished shovelling the bloody stuff “Do you know we could have ordered the slate to be hoisted directly over the hole, and then we could have sliced open the bottom of the bag and had it deposited directly in to the hole?”
Once the slate was in place I asked someone who shall remain nameless to position the rotary clothes line for me, which he willingly did, the only problem is that he didn’t put it in vertically, but at an angle, which would be fine if it was some kind of Anti-Aircraft weapon, but it’s not, it’s a rotary clothesline; now when you put clothes on one side, gravity kicks in and it slowly revolves around to present the clothes to the lowest side**.
Pat came round on Saturday for some food and wine, but in the afternoon I wandered in to Mark’s garden and had a few drinks, well I say a few, really it was a lot, so that when Pat turned up I was pretty much drunk. The original plan had been for me to cook risotto for Pat and Julie before we started drinking, but that plan didn’t survive contact with Mr Jack Daniels, but Pat, Mark and I being adults knew we could cook when drunk and so as a team made dinner.
So picture the scene – three rather chunky men in their 40’s & 50’s in my kitchen trying to fit around my cooker all helping and offering advice as they see fit. I asked Pat to grate some cheese to mix in to the rice, and turned my back, and I swear it took him less than 30 seconds to grate a whole block of cheese. Long story short – it’s a good job we all liked cheesy risotto.
I asked one of them, I forget which (I was drunk) to slice and butter some bread, but possibly due to me slurring my words they heard me say “Please create a number of doorstops and smear that whole block of butter over them.” Still, you know what they say, ‘If you want a job doing properly, don’t ask three drunks to do it!’
The original plan to commute has fallen by the wayside. I have done the trip twice/trice and each time getting there was a doddle, but getting back home, it seemed as if some evil presence was doing all it could to stop me, and its primary weapons were a combination of lorries that seem to be limited to 40 mph, tractor drivers who seem to be in competition to see how many vehicles they can get in the queue behind them, a lack of overtaking lanes, and that new favourite – Audi drivers.
The Accommodation lady wasn’t too thrilled to hear from me two working days before I was due to pitch up, particularly when she found out that I’d known for three/four months I was coming here; still, she came through and I have a room that reminds me of the RAF some twenty years ago.
The room is also Baltic cold and the first night I was so cold that at about 0100 I went down to the car and brought up a sleeping bag which I now have draped over the quilt; I can’t wait for October which is when they switch on the central heating.
The ablutions and toilets are down the corridor and are worse than at Brunssum, at least there the toilets and showers were in different rooms, here they’re together in the same room, so now I get to smell someone’s shit while I’m in the shower – god bless the RAF in the 21st Century.
The food in the mess is okay, and as a treat we get to use plastic cutlery and paper plates, as it seems the dishwasher has been broken for several weeks and they are waiting for it to be repaired. Everybody seems nice but I have to get used to not shaking everybody’s hand when I greet them.
I arrived on the Monday, Tuesday I went to get my computer account set up and have been told it will take a minimum of three days to set up; NATO took four hours, sometimes less, to sort out your computer account – and people say that NATO is slow!
Walked in to the gym during circuits just in time to see a number of young ladies bear-walking away from me, and suddenly the world was a better place.
*Well maybe a bit.
**Update – Craig re-dug it in and it’s now vertical.