About This Blog

This blog was originally started as a thread on the forum pages of an animal rescue site. Now it's here!

The articles you find in here are purely for entertainment (yours and mine) and (with one or two exceptions) are all tongue-in-cheek chronicles of the World (my bit, anyway) as I see it.
No disrespect is intended towards anyone unless I make a mistake and make it too obvious.

I hope you enjoy my offerings. Feedback and comments of any kind are welcome.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year!

When you are all counting down the hours, minutes, then finally the seconds as you await the death of 2011 and the birth of 2012, think of me!

As the alcohol trickle becomes a torrent; as the jovial party mood turns to gut-spewing, raucous and arrest-warranting behaviour; as the globe spins and each time-zone belches out good wishes for the future; as fireworks  around the world scare the shit out of everyone's cats and dogs ...

... I will be working!!!

Well, actually, I will be in bed ...if I'm lucky.

If I'm unlucky, I will be dealing with tantrums of a client who just can't understand what all the fuss is about.

The 'unlucky' scenario is the more likely of the two.


Happy New Year!

My next post will be in 2012.  I hope you can survive the year without me!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Just Another Day

I thought my day of gloom and despondency was behind me.  I really did.

Then I turned the TV on and was confronted with Jack Black having a crack at being Gulliver (he of the Travels).

Ok, so he's made the odd film or two that were worth watching but, I mean Gulliver's Travels?  Come on!

I managed eighteen minutes, give or take, and most of that was spent eating a hearty bowl of Sugar Puffs and reading yesterday's newspaper. I just had to change channels.

A few minutes spent channel zapping revealed (once again) that, despite the number of available channel being in excess of two hundred, there was nothing worthwhile watching.

I therefore entertained myself for an hour or so by racing through a book of Sudoku puzzles.

Yes, I know.  I have very exciting days off, don't I!

By 11am my brain was in overdrive and, being fully awake and ready for action, I decided to tackle something that was of far more importance than watching TV or completing puzzles.

I opened the cupboard and pulled out the vacuum cleaner.

Yes,  yes!  Vacuuming is woman's work but, hey!  If I want to maintain a fully functional body ... no breaks, no black eyes ... then it's best to do as 'she who must be obeyed' has ordained, right?

I'm sure that if I look hard enough there will be a list of other jobs that need doing.

I'm not going to look!

Not today.

I'll just hide when she get's home!

Oh, God!

I'm so bored!

Where's that list?

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Never Let It Be Said

Never let it be said that I, a survivor of many a military campaign, would ever shirk his duties or baulk in the face of a challenge.

Never let it be said that I, a wordsmith of limited capability but unparalleled enthusiasm, would ever lower myself to allow four letter words of a certain nature to creep into my blog.

And never let it be said that I, a man with an unrivalled humour of a nine year old, would ever abandon my jovial spirits in favour of gloom and despondency.

That said, I just cannot be arsed to write anything today, so you can all go to hell on a hand-cart and leave me alone in my own little cloud of despair.

No, wait!

Come back!

I was only joking.

Oh, bugger!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

How To Dump Yourself Into A Whole Heap Of Trouble

It's simple!

You ask a question.

There was a note on the table when I eventually dragged my backside downstairs.  I read it as I tried to wake myself up with a strong coffee.

The Mrs. had gone to work and, as I was having an unexpected day off, she had left a note.  A short one which was, in actual fact, just a list of things that I was meant to have finished by the time she got home.
  • Vacuum.
  • Tidy away all the Christmas presents that I'd received and left lying on any flat surface.
  • Put away the spare chairs that we had to pull out to seat everyone around the table on Christmas day (which I said I would do after the Christmas meal and conveniently forgot).
  • and a few other little things
Not much really.  But there was also the regular stuff that I do as a matter of course.
  • Taking the dogs to the park
  • Prepare the evening meal 
  • Walk the dogs in the evening
I'm sure there's other stuff  too, but I'll be blowed if I can remember what they are, but I'm sure they're very important jobs.

Anyway, she came home and that's where the question comes in.

Any man feeling hard done by would probably ask the same question.

I met her when she came through the front door I immediately reeled  off the list of jobs, each item punctuated with a sharp "Done"!

As she removed her coat and hung it on the hook behind the door she said "Well done"!

Then I asked it!

"So" I said.  "Remind me. What is it you actually do around here"?

The silence was deafening, the room suddenly frosty.

Her stare nailed me firmly to the wall and held me there. She uttered no sound, she just slowly turned and walked passed me and up the hallway towards the kitchen.

We haven't talked for over an hour, but I think she's softening.  

Well, she's stopped throwing plates, cups and saucers at me anyway.

I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to apologise in another hour or two without sustaining any life threatening injuries.

Pray for me!

* This is all made up because I would never have the nerve to ask her that question in the first place, but now you know what  would happen if I ever did.

Monday, 26 December 2011


So it's over!

The BIG day came and went with barely any mention of what it was really all about.

No, we didn't mention it either, but I did wish Jesus a 'Happy Birthday'.

Now though, we find ourselves enjoying Recovery Day No.1.

There are five Recovery Day's.  Five day's where time stands still, at incredible speed, as we wait for New Years Eve and a new reason to over indulge.  Whereas Christmas is a time of food in extravagant excess, New Years Eve is a time of alcohol, vomit and mystery (such as 'How did that traffic cone end up in my bed and who is that man buried head-first in my garden?').

But these five days, which we now find ourselves at the doorstep of, are the doldrums. A wind-still place (with the exception of bottom-burping) where nothing other than the continued digestion of our Christmas

It is a time of waiting; a time of re-runs on TV; a time of turkey sandwiches.

It is a time for being bored and wondering 'where the hell did the year go?'

I know where my year went to. Do you remember what happened to yours?

It's only 7 am on Boxing Day (Recovery Day No1) and already I'm wondering what colour socks I'll get for Christmas next year.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Another Day, Another Bus!

Today I would like to sing the praises of the bus drivers of South Wales, as dedicated and daring a bunch (insert the correct group noun for bus drivers if you know it) of rapscallions you could ever have the pleasure of crossing paths with.

Let me take you through today's journey.

The bus arrived at five past ten this morning.  A full five minutes early!  We boarded, flashing our bus passes as we did so, then proceeded to sit on the bus for ten minutes whilst the driver ate a sandwich and poured tea from a flask. At a quarter past ten he drove on. Now we were running a full five minutes late!

Almost immediately the bus was directed towards the narrow streets of Tonypandy where he jinked and jived that bus this way and that to a chorus of Whoa's and Phew's from the passengers.

To his credit, and he would no doubt argue it was due to his great skill, no wing mirror's were clipped and no pedestrians were squished on our way to the main bus stop of the town.

Now the towns of the welsh valleys date back to a time when a persons only means of transport were his/her feet or pony and trap.  They were never planned and built without thought for modern forms of mass transport and therefore you will quite often find the front doors of the terraced houses are very near to the road. As almost every family now has a car the parking in those towns is strictly limited and, in quite a few places, illegal so, as you can imagine, driving a bus through them is not an easy affair.

There were numerous stops along the route but the one that sticks in my mind was in the town of Porth, where   we parked up in the bus depot and our driver left us.  For approximately ten minutes we sat there with nothing to do but idly peruse the occupants of the bus next to us and was in a similar, driver-less predicament.

I tried hard not to let my eyes linger too long on the red hot blonde beauty on the other bus but, to my shame,I did check her out several times. Two seats in front of this beauty I saw a child of perhaps 5 or six doing his best to keep the bus he was on tidy and clean by slowly licking the inside of the window. He stopped occasionally to poke his tongue out at me.

When our new driver arrived he immediately, and much to our annoyance, refrained from boarding and joined a group of his colleagues to express hearty and manly greetings and exchange pleasantries of, I presume, bus driver-ly nature.

When he finally did take his place behind the wheel and started the engine we were, by my watch, running fifteen minutes late and passenger tempers were beginning to fray.

This is when a bus drivers wicked sense of humour comes into play.  You see, in order to get himself, his bus and indeed us, back on schedule we were treated to not one, but two, demonstrations of bus driver mean bastard-ness of the highest order.

This is what happened:

  • He deliberately pulled up at a stop at the wrong end of the bus shelter
  • Realising this, the passengers troop to the back of the shelter in order to board
  • On seeing that the would-be passengers were almost at the door of the bus, the driver pulled forward to the correct boarding point.
  • The would-be passengers turn, complaining, and troop back to the front of the shelter.
  • The bus driver, seeing no one at the correct boarding point pulls out and back into traffic, leaving a gaggle of irate would-be's waving there arms and throwing umbrella's after the bus.
This happened, as I said, twice thus shaving at least ten minutes from our journey time.

Later, just before we reached our destination (Pontypridd), there was another incident which raised eyebrows and infuriated would-be passengers.  At a bus stop stood six or seven people, several of whom stuck out their arms to alert our driver to their presence.

Did he stop at the right place?


He drove at least twenty metres passed the stop and parked beside three men in florescent jackets. The men were obviously fellow bus drivers, and colleagues of our driver, exercising their right to free bus travel.

Once again a stream of would-be passengers jogged, waddled and hobbled towards the doors of the bus but our bus driver, who seemed totally devoid of any kind of Christmas spirit, had other ideas and pulled back onto the road.

We got off the bus at the next stop, but I couldn't help wondering if our driver would continue on his one man mission to selflessly piss-off any and all passengers during the rest of his trip to his final destination of Caerphilly.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

One Glass Too Many

So I was gonna say shomethin portant ... shomethin verr portant ... maybe,  or not, poshibly.

It woulda been aweshome, shurr's I shit here.

But a lil'ol' glash of wiksy got wotsit ... in the way.

'coursh, I dunno was'all'bout. Alohol'n me not friendsh y'shee.  Oil'n wet stuff ... water. Dun'mix, hmmmm!

Where's off butt'n fing on thish taplop?

Ahhhh! There that butt'n ........  

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Beware The Hint-Dropping Wife

You have to be careful around this time of year.

Correction:  Men have to be careful!

It is the time when hints and names are dropped; when detours are made to pass that certain boutique or store; when magazines are left inadvertently open at a page featuring a certain product.

It is the time when the man of the house puts himself in serious danger of withdrawal of 'certain privileges', or quite possibly, bodily harm, if any or all of the afore mentioned are ignored.

Now I know that you guys out there have, as I have, the ability to fully function during a conversation with your 'other half', answering any and all questions, maintaining the continuity and flow without, and this is the key point,  actually listening or fully understanding what has been said.

How many times has 'She' come home and started an conversation (argument) with the words "Why haven't you ... " or "Didn't you say that you would ... "?

Take my advice ... for I have suffered in the past and have have been through many a silent Christmas ... take heed of the mutterings of 'She who must be obeyed'!  Turn of that game on TV. Put down that beer. Stop reading that car magazine.

Take up your notebook and pencil and be prepared for at this time of year, she will certainly be casting out bait in a multitude of directions, which you must catch and swallow, in order to get that Christmas gift that she (maybe not you) thinks she deserves.

Tread carefully my friends!

I would hate to have read that you went through one of those dreadful Christmas silences or of you having to have conversations via the kids:  "Ask your mother ... ", "Tell prune-face that ... ", "Ask the old cow if ... "

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


The 'monologue' below was written, and I believe also performed by one of my comic heroes, the late, great Ronnie Barker.
I hope you like it.

"Good evening. I am the president of the Loyal Society for the Relief of Suffers from Pismronunciation, for the relief of people who can't say their worms correctly, or who use the wrong worms entirely, so that other people cannot underhand a bird they are spraying. It's just that you open your mouse, and the worms come turbling out in wuck a say that you dick not what you're thugging to be, and it's very distressing.

"I'm always looing it, and it makes one feel umbumftorcacle, especially when one is going about one's diddly tasks. Slopping at the Sloopermarket, for instance. Only last wonk, I approached the chuckout point, and I shooed the ghoul behind the crash desk the contents of my trilly, and she said 'All right, granddad, shout 'em out.' Well, of course, that's fine for the ordinary man in the stoat who has no dribble with his wolds. For someone like myself, it's worse than a kick in the jackstrop.

"Sometimes, you get stuck on one letter, such as wubbleyou. And I said, 'Well, I've got a tin of woup, a woucumber, two packets of wheese and a walliflower'. She tried to make fun of me and said, 'That will be woo pounds, wifty-wee pence.' So I just said 'Wobblers!' and walked out.

"So you see how dickyfelt it is. But help is at hand. A new society has been formed by our mumblers to help each other in times of excream ices. It is balled Pismronouncers Unanimous, and anyone can ball them up on the smellyphone any time of the day or note, twenty-four flowers a spray, seven stays a creek, and they will come 'round and get drunk with you.

"For foreigners, there will be inperpetwitters, who will all speak many sandwiches, such as Swedish, Turkish, Burkish, Jewish, Gibberish and Rubbish. Membranes will be able to attend tight stool, for heaving classes, to learn how to grope with the many complinkities of the daily loaf.

"Which brings me to the drain reason for squeaking to you tonight. The society's first function as a body was a grand garden freight, and we hope for many more bodily functions in the future. The garden plate was held in the grounds of Blennham Paleyass, Woodstick, and the guest of horror was the great American pip singer, Manny Barrellow. The fete was opened by the bleeder of the opposition, Mister Dale Pinnock ... Pillock, who gave us a few well-frozen worms in praise of the society's jerk. He said that 'In the creeks and stunts that lie ahead, we must do out nut roast to ensure that it sucks weeds.' "And everyone visited the various stores and abrusements, the rudeabouts, thing boats and the dodgers, and of course, all the old favorites such as Srty your Length, guessing the weight of the cook and tinning the pale on the wonky. The occasion was great fun, and I think it can safely be said that all the men present and thoroughly good women were had all the time.

"So, please join out society. Write to me, Doctor Small Pith, The Spanner, Poke Moses, and I will send you some brieflets to browse through and a brass badge to wear in your loophole."

Monday, 12 December 2011


The dogs have been out for their first pee of the day (6 am).

They have also been fed (7 am).

They have gone back to sleep (7.15 am).

I don't have to work until 4 pm, yet here I sit, laptop frying my nuts, typing to a sleeping (if they have any sense) world.  And as I sit here (still frying my nuts) typing,  yet again I am faced with the dilemma of what to write.  The ideas that prompted me to switch on my laptop have, as they tend to do, evaporated and left me with a vacuum that, lets face it, is difficult to fill at this time in the morning.

So I will call this post 'Silence' and refrain from further writings.

Enjoy the white-space and, for those that read aloud, the silence.

Wasn't that fun?

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Christmas Day

It's Christmas time,
a time of cheer, 
for presents and food
and dad drinkin' beer.

Broken new toys,
wrapping paper still on the floor,
a visit from those neighbours,
the ones you don't like anymore. 

Mum in the kitchen,
strugglin' with the lunch,
trying to prepare food,
for the whole bleedin' bunch. 

Dad's on the bog,
with a can of Newkie Brown,
lukkin at his Sun calender,
n he don't mind that it's upside down. 

The 'outlaws' arrive,
around about two,
and all they can do,
is complain about you. 

At the table it's said,
the turkey is dry,
the sprouts are too soft,
and you just want to cry. 

Then back to the telly,
to see the Queen,
cos she speaks the bestest
English what's ever been. 

Around about six,
there's more food on the table,
and we all start eating
as much as we're able. 

later on,
lunch time sprouts play their part,
as adults sip wine
and secretly fart. 

Over at last,
you sip your brandy
n tell your ol' man
forget bein' randy! 

Off to bed,
straight to sleep,
all that hard work,
and not one 'thank you' peep.

Bog = Toilet

Newkie Brown = Newcastle Brown Ale

Sun Calendar = The Sun newspaper's annual topless model calendar

Outlaws = The In-laws            

Friday, 9 December 2011

The Bus Ride

Ok.  Where to start?

With the driver I suppose ... no, wait!  Let's talk about the weather first.

I was windy, cold and it was raining. I was at times very nearly blown off my feet and I was very cold.  So cold, in fact, that if I had needed to go for a leek, a search and rescue unit would have had to be called in order to find my todger (hold your thumb and forefinger approximately half and inch apart. That'll tell you how cold I was)!

And it rained! Although just saying 'it rained' makes me feel as if I am doing it an injustice! I mean, I could not see more than 30 or 40 feet through the driving rain and it came down so damned hard that it bounced back up and under my coat soaking my trousers all the way up to my backside. Anyway, it rained!

Right, let's get back to the driver.

He looked thin and haggard and had a Dracula-like V of hair that seemed to creep down his forehead each time he blinked. In my mind I named him Bela (after Bela Lugosi).  After several minutes of our journey, I renamed him Pothole Charlie due to the fact that he successfully navigated his was from stop to stop via every pothole on the road!  And there were many on that thirty-five minute bus ride.

Passengers of note, and there were a lot of them getting on and off, were Mr. Steroid, Granny Gymnast and Goth Girl XXL.

Let me start with Goth Girl XXL.  She wore, as you would expect, those ridiculous boots covered in chrome studs and the clothes in the traditional Goth colour of  black.  Her coat was an old army greatcoat inexpertly dyed ... black, believe it or not. Goth Girl was HUGE ... it is quite possible that there was another X in there somewhere ... so there was little chance of her ever buttoning her coat up against the cold. Beneath her coat she was clad in black T-shirt and black jeans, both seemed to be straining as if desperate to hold her bulk in some sort of shape other than that of a gelatinous blob.
After she purchased her ticket she began to struggle down the narrow aisle to find a seat. Sadly she never made it to a seat as, try as she might, she could not squeeze her bulk through, much to the amusement of my fellow passengers and to her annoyance.  For the remainder of her trip she remained standing, grumbling continuously at the poor standards of our buses.

Next there was Mr. Steroid, or Man-Mountain if you prefer, who sat near the front of the bus occupying two seats with his muscle bound body. Despite the weather, he wore nothing but tracksuit bottoms, a sleeveless muscle shirt and a small (too small for his size) denim jacket that was full of 'designer' holes.  Above the collar of his jacket a huge triangular muscle rose up, eliminating any prospect of a neck, to the base of his skull giving a good indication of what lay beneath his clothes.  Actually, now I think of it, even his ears had muscles!

And last, but not least, there was Granny Gymnast.  She was a small, dinky woman. Frail looking and unsteady on her feet as boarded the bus using a zimmer-frame.  I clearly heard her speak to the Pothole Charlie as she flashed her bus pass.
"Will you wait until I get seated before you drive off?" she asked.
I couldn't hear Charlie's answer, but judging by Grannies smile, it seemed to be the one she was hoping for, so  she proceeded to try and find a seat.
She had hardly managed two tottering steps up the aisle when the bus jerked forward and moved back into traffic.
Grannies zimmer-frame slammed onto the floor at the same time as her feet left it and continued to rise as her head went forwards and down.  She was half way into a perfect handstand on her zimmer-frame when, at a speed you wouldn't expect from a chunk of beef of that size, Mr. Steroid was up and diving towards her,
He caught hold of her with one muscular arm around her almost horizontal waist and pulled her to him.
Goth Girl laughed and shouted "Nice one!" as Mr. Steroid righted granny and assisted her to a seat. He then went and remonstrated with the driver.
Granny composed herself and said "Well that's one that'll  amuse the grand kids when I tell 'em".

At the next stop I had to get off and was thus destined to miss the rest (if any) of the on-board entertainment.

Had I known that bus journeys could be so much fun, I would have never bought a car!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Mr. Atherton's Cat

Buster was a strange animal!

Approximately seven years old, he was a silver and black cat with a red collar on which hung a brass name tag and a bell.

Oh yes, he had attitude too.

Sharp teeth, sharp claws and attitude!  Definitely attitude.

No one touched Buster but Mr. A.  Limbs could be lost by anyone not in the know.

But he was strange in other ways too.He would, for example, accompany his owner Mr. Atherton* to the local pub on a regular basis. Back in 1976, they were a well known pair that were often seen together in The Coble pub in my home town of Newbiggin by the Sea.

I was told by Mr. A. himself that Buster had just turned up one day on his doorstep shortly after the death of his wife ... Mr. A's, not Buster's ...and as no one had claimed him, he moved in and became a household fixture.

Between 1976 and 1982, the year Mr. A passed away, I often sat with them in the pub and shared a pint, ever hopeful of a time when I could stroke him without forfeit of an extremity.

But, after Mr. A passed away, Buster disappeared.  No one ever found out where he went.

Some years later, about 1989 or 90, I passed the house where Mr. A. used to live.  I knew that a young couple had moved in a few wears earlier, but had never met them.

As I walked by, I looked towards the front door and there,on the step sat a silver and black cat. It wore red collar on which hung ... yes you've guessed it! ... a brass name tag and a bell.

I was curious, or nosey (whichever you prefer), so I went to door and knocked.  The cat just stared at me.
A woman in her thirties answered and I proceeded to enquire as to the name of her cat and where he came from.

She said he was approximately seven years old and they had found him on their windowsill one day and he had never left. His name was ...

"Buster!" I blurted.

She seemed surprised.  So I told her the story of Mr. A.

"Now that's really odd" she said.  "Our Buster follows my husband to the pub too".

We chatted for a few more minutes before I said my goodbyes and headed off on my way.

It must have been the same cat I thought.  Maybe the Buster I knew was a lot younger than we'd thought.

Over time, the story of Buster slipped my mind, just as many things have before and since.

In 2005 when I once again returned to my home town for short visit to family, I found myself in need of a cold beverage and, being near The Coble, I popped in for a quick drink.

I could not believe what I saw.  In the corner sat a man, perhaps in his seventies, and under the table at which he sat, lapping at a saucer of water, was a silver and black cat wearing a red collar on which hung ... sing along now ... a brass name tag and a bell.

"Buster?" I said.

The cat left the saucer and sauntered across the hideous red carpet and began rubbing himself against my leg.

I bent down and went to stroke his head but that beautiful little kitty transformed himself into a hissing ball of fur, teeth and claws.  I barely managed to pull my hand back in time.

Yep!  That was Buster!

But how?  He would be well over thirty years old!

He should have been a long dead kitty.

The barman said "You've not met Buster before then. We all know how dangerous he can be".

I told them the story that I have just told to you.

Everyone just stared at Buster!

There were, if my memory serves, quite a few mutterings of "It can't be!" and "Impossible!"

All I know is that this cat was ... and I mean really was ... just as I remembered the Buster I first met in 1976.

* This tale, with the exception of the name Atherton (as I can't for the life of me recall his true name), the fact that my dates may be a little out (but not much) and maybe it was another one of Newbiggin's pubs and not The Coble they frequented, is absolutely true.  I kid you not!  But I will leave it to your own good selves to decide if such a story, by any stretch of the imagination, could be true or not.

Friday, 2 December 2011

I Could Have Been Concussed! I Could've! Honest!

I am getting old!

You can tell when age catches up to you because you start recalling happier times ... the days of your youth ... on a more regular basis.

Well, when I say 'happier times', I really just mean earlier times! They weren't all happy or without pain.

Yesterday, after my wife took a little bruise inflicting tumble, unbidden came the memory of a fall of my own.
Whereas I should have been giving her some sort of comfort, I was in fact recalling an incident from my Army days which involved stairs, a full backpack and some slow motion body surfing.

It was one of those occasions where our leaders decided to test our reaction time to an emergency. 

It was, as it always seemed to be, about 2 am and sirens were blaring across the barracks and indeed across the whole town.

The German population must have really loved us!

Now,  when you hear those sirens, you are meant to leap from your bed, don you combat clothing and all your kit and go to a designated point within the barracks where a roll is called before we draw weapons and prepare to move out into the field.

What actually happens is this:

The sirens blare so you turn over in bed and pull a pillow over your head.
You wait until there is a banging on your door that you can ignore until it becomes a violent kicking action accompanied be manic shouting and swearing.
You eventually get out of bed and wander around the corridor asking other bewildered, would-be sleepers, if it really is a 'call out' or was it a fire alarm.
After some clarification, which still isn't clear,  you clamber into your combat clothing and boots, grab your gear and head off to the assembly point.  This can take quite some time due to the fact that you have to return to your room several times to retrieve those forgotten, but necessary, items of combat gear that you meant to have packed some months ago but never actually got around to. 

Anyway, this time, as the wailing of the sirens finally faded, I was already on my feet, dressed and fully equipped.  I was ready to go to war!

Woe betide those bad guys!

At this point I should mention red lead paint!

It's what the army uses to paint flooring and sometimes walls.  It's easy to clean and difficult to scuff.  And it was all over the floors of the armoury building.

It was raining that morning and I was one of the first to respond. Some others were sent to chase up late comers and I was told go to the armoury, draw my weapon and then return to the parade square and begin marshalling vehicles into position ready to move out.

There were steps in the armoury building leading down to the heavy steel armoury door. It was open and one or two men were already grabbing rifles.

Did I mention the red lead floors and the fact that it was raining?

As I reached the top of the stairs I slipped. My feet shot out from under me and I hastily grabbed the hand rail for support.  As I did so, my heavy backpack began to drag me down backwards.  I pulled hard on the hand rail and tried to jerk myself forward and upright again.

I over did it!  Gravity took control!

And I began to slowly topple forward towards the flight of stairs!

In my panic, and in a desperate attempt to minimise the pain and damage that was sure to follow, I dropped to my knees but my forward momentum and the weight of my backpack carried me over, head first onto the stairs.

I landed chest first with a groan and a gasp as the air was knocked out of my lungs.

Then I began a slow motion descent of the stairs on my stomach. All the way to the bottom.
Twenty rib bruising steps later my head, thankfully still steel helmeted, hit the edge of the open armoury door.

I was stunned.

And I couldn't get up!

The kit on my back was just too heavy.

I was lucky though!  I really was ... in more ways than one.

Not only were my injuries limited to bruises ... mostly to my pride. But, as a precaution, my CO refused to let me take part in the call-out drill.

Whilst the rest of my unit were all vehicled-up and moving towards an unknown woodland location to begin manoeuvres, I was safely tucked up in a bed in the camp infirmary ... for observation, you understand.

I could have had delayed concussion.

Hmmmm!  I might still have it!

You never know.