Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Wednesday, 6 August 2014
Not for me, thank you
Did anyone watch the debate between that bloke and the other one on TV last night, about whether or not Scotland stays British? I didn't, and I won't be bothering with catch-up either.
I have a strong feeling that - come the day - Scotland will be welcomed back home like the small boy who says he is running away, only to return to his smiling parents within 3 minutes and 100 yards up the road, not even out of their sight.
What we did watch last night on catch-up however, was the Channel 4 Marine Commando recruitment training series which The Boy has had a hand in the making of. It has become strangely addictive, and we have seen his name flash up on the credits three times now.
These recruits spend the first couple of months being sworn at whilst half killing themselves crawling through mud and jumping over walls, and many of them fall by the wayside in tears.
One bloke who could be seen failing pretty much every test put to him by simply being a bit soft, was a young man from Malta who felt the need to swallow handfuls of instant coffee washed down with water, in the rare moments of relaxation allowed to him in his billet.
I once felt the need to resort to Red Bull when trying to finish a job off in Henley at 3 o'clock in the morning as the owners slept soundly upstairs, but it never occurred to me to eat dry instant coffee by the handful. He obviously would have liked to eat the coffee in private, but the bunks are only 6 feet away from each other, and there were static cameras set up all over the place, running 24 hours a day.
One of his troop helpfully commented, "I've just seen Borg eat coffee by the handful, and wash it down with water." There was no hint of surprise in his voice as he informed the others.
All of the troop have their little foibles when it comes to non-issue food, and aside from Borg's ability to eat three cans of fish in one minute (he became too fat to climb a 30-foot rope), all of them seem to be addicted to various types of unhealthy junk.
Halfway through their training, they are subjected to the terrible ordeal of 'Bottom Field', which they have heard scary rumours about ever since day one.
The day before the Bottom Field exercises, the troop commander barks the advice that they must eat as much breakfast as they can stuff down themselves the following morning. "A BOWL OF RICE KRISPIES WILL NOT CUT IT!"
Borg failed round one of the tests, and was sent to the back of the queue to join a different troop for more basic training. He set to work with a renewed vigour, lost loads of weight, climbed the 30 foot rope with ease and passed on the second attempt.
Having done all this - twice - he eventually decided that this was not the life for him and went home to Malta without disgrace.
At the end of last night's episode, H.I. looked at me and asked if I would have liked to do that Marine Training when I was young.
Although I had a good strength to body-weight in my 20s, I really don't think I had the right mind-set!
At dawn one morning, just before a 'Bottom Field' gruelling exercise, the Commander asked, "Where's Dillihand?" Dillihand is the one in the above photo.
"He's still in bed, Sir. He says he's ill."
We had watched Dillihand getting weaker and weaker, collapsing whilst trying to run with a comrade on his back, and falling into deep water from overhead wires, not having the strength to hang on for longer than ten minutes - all the while being shouted and sworn at.
He had been warned about his slacking and attitude, and was being threatened with expulsion if he did not get his act together, and quickly.
He was eventually carted off to hospital where they diagnosed pneumonia. When he returned, he was a new man with all the capabilities of his non-bespectacled comrades, and passed all the tests.