Saturday, November 22, 2008

At home Saturday - Very cold - 34F

Picture 1 is a change from German architecture and is a barrack room in Azizia (wherever that is ?) and is an excellent drawing by Bungus. He can certainly draw and his English isn't bad either . Ha Ha!

The bed-space is correct, for military barrack-rooms. His looks rather palatial though. I remember living in a long thin hut with 30 beds, 15 a side, and heated by a coke-burning stove somewhere in the middle which used to glow red-hot in the middle of the night. Does anyone else remember having to fold your blankets in an exact way. Unless memory deceives we used to call them 'biscuits'. I'll try and research a picture.

Picture 2 is the village pub "The Dorfkrug" we used on Insel Sylt. In the enlargement you may be able to decipher "Zum alten Dorfkrug" or "come to the old village jug" an instruction we willingly complied with, regularly.

Although Picture 3 shows a pub in Strasbourg, during our recent holiday, and although it's 2 storey and not a chalet, I personally felt the architecture had a similar feel to it.

Perhaps wishful thinking because I hadn't gone out especially looking for one to make the point.


bungus ..... I wish you well with your Xmas Goose ! It is, of course, the traditional English festive bird, the turkey being a fairly recent innovation.

Your Cauliflower Cheese sounds excellent and thanks for publishing the recipe. And I seem to remember you saying that my recipe sounded a lot of trouble !

Y and TJ thoroughly enjoyed Tosca. Musically it was excellent. It is an Opera they both love. The production they felt was a little weird and involved one of the female leads sitting all the time on top of what looked like a wardrobe. It was in fact the Chapel. They agree with you about the language and, if you had opened the link I published you would have noticed it was sung in Italian. (English sub-titles were displayed on unobtrusive sub-screens at the side of the stage). TJ also told me that the conductor looked like a mad professor - but this added to the experience rather than detracting from it.

Re BNP - It seems to me to be a little 'rich' to suspend an officer for membership of the BNP whilst Freemasonry is allowed to flourish !

reg ...... I'm very very sorry that 4 ticks lost her carefully crafted 'blog-comment' into cyberspace. Probably Bungus's method of preparing the comment as a Word Document and then copy/pasting it into the blog is the only sure way of ensuring this doesn't happen. I admit I don't do it myself. But I have the luxury that, if a make a 'b***s up' and hit the wrong button, automatically 'saves to draft' for me.

You are bang-on with the author of Coral Island, and I've scanned the inside page of my copy for this exciting picture. I was there with the lads on that log. I was the one in the beret fending off the 'monster' - or is that Peterkin ? I forget !

My copy has a label inside the cover saying it was awarded to me at Sunday School. Can't remember what I had done to deserve it. Probably just turned up I suppose. There was no real contest. It was either Sunday School or a 5 mile country walk round Kniveton with my parents, and always having been an idle sod ........

Other favourite books were The Secret Garden and a book I've never since been able to track down called "The Magic Door". There were around 10 chapters and in each you were transported back in time to a different period - like Roman times for instance. And of course Dr Doolitle.

Jill ...... Sorry you missed out on Rover, Wizard, Hotspur and Adventure. Y seems to know all about them because her brother had them and she read them. So she could discuss Wilson's slow heart beat with Reg. I seem to remember it was 30 beats a minute and when I measured mine it was whacking along at 86 - I thought "Oh Well, I'm never going to do the 4 minute mile"

I seem to remember girls at School reading "Bunty". But compared with the above it seemed a bit wet and lack-lustre. And Peggy Owen, with whom I was desperately in love, used to borrow my Wizard.

And I don't think anybody has mentioned "Champion" yet and Rockfist Rogan. That was nearly all solid reading which I liked.

With you re John Buchan too. What was all this anti-semitism stuff supposed to be all about. I can't remember anything along those lines.

I suppose kids stuff at that time was a tad anti-german, which wasn't surprising under the circumstances was it?


I've waffled on far too much tonight anyway - so I will spare you the customary quotation. I had a really nice e-mail exchange with Ray (ourstanley) during the day and I'm pleased to report that he seems fine. He was such a great help to me when I first sought 'computer help' on WebUser forums. It was back in 2005 and I've learnt a lot since then - never enough though !

p.s. for Bungus's benefit. The real time of going to press is 9.20pm. 'cos we watched 'Strictly' in the interim and had a meal.



David said...

The barrack spacing looks similar to bed spacing at Rostellan's back bedroom in the 70's. P.S. just wondered if you are feeling OK? as there have been no pictures of chip cobs for many days now!!
Current non-pc joke is "Do you know what DNA stands for?"
National Dyslexic Association.

bungus said...

I give a clue below to the location of Azizia (or Azzizia as it is sometimes spelt - in English that is) when I say that Ghadaffi (or Gadafi or Qadaffi) has his Palace there.
I thought others might be interested to know that the chap shown on his pit opposite was later stricken with polio. Rumour said, died from it. He certainly never returned to the unit. He was from Manchester and the newspaper photo above his head was of the Busby Babes. The Munich disaster occurred not long after I made the sketch and he was naturally extremely distressed.
The reason the barracks looks less formal (rather than palatial; and no heating required as it was hot) was that we were a small rebellious unit led by half a dozen Commissioned Officers and a similar number of Warrant Officers and Sergeants. There were perhaps 70 Other Ranks (some at Bhenghazi and other farflung outposts). At one time, 6 of the ORs were architects, others QSs, and we drew up plans and rearranged the room, using the lockers to form small bays of six to eight beds each. Apart from the main barrack room there were a number of Bunks (ie rooms accommodating 3 or 4 people) to which Corporals ascended as their longer serving fellows departed for demob.
A new Colonel, CO of the Greenjackets infantry regiment occupying the major part of the barracks complex did make a surprise inspection one morning and issue orders that the main room was to be regimentalised as described by RG, and the fire buckets polished. The order had been countermanded before lunch by our own CO, with barely a hint of insurrection, although our QMS did say to me, “Whatever you do, don’t use the word mutiny.” The only unfortunate outcome was that, instead of staying in bed, we were, for a while thereafter, required to go to work in the morning after being on night duty (guard, duty clerk, or duty-driver). But we never had another inspection apart from the annual one for which we were well prepared (eg, illicit fridges were disguised with blankets).
I reckon we called the neatly folded blankets ‘bedpacks’ but, other than for the AOC’s annual inspection, never had to make them after leaving training camp. We also had spare boot laces which were tightly rolled like licorice and gloss painted black.

There certainly is something of a family likeness between the 2 buildings in your photos. It is not just your hopeful imagining.

In response to your suggestion that my cauli recipe sounds as complex as yours, I can only say, “What’s jus for the goose is Hollandaise for the poisson.”

Pleased the girls enjoyed the opera with its Rumpelstiltskin conductor.
It would not do for us all to like the same thing or there would never be enough tickets.

It’s all right for you to say it is “a little 'rich' to suspend an officer for membership of the BNP whilst Freemasonry is allowed to flourish”. You are safely out of it now, I think (unless your comment could be construed as an offence under the Official Secrets Act.).
That doesn’t mean that I disagree with you, of course. And shouldn’t ‘allowed’ possibly be ‘encouraged’?

I admire the red of your log-riding shirt and note that it is worn inside the breeches.

My only Sunday School prize was Black Jake by that author who always seemed to write about Cornwall and wreckers and stuff (Geoffrey Farson or Farndon?). Flies at the time were buttoned and as I stood up to make my way between the rows of chairs to go to the front and collect the book I ripped mine open on the back of the chair in front. That was a bit like Reg’s caravan holiday essay (see below).
I only attended because my best friend did – what better reason to become a Methodist although we both refused to Sign the Pledge.

I think Wilson did a THREE minute mile. I shall not attempt it even though I had my blood pressure checked by the District Nurse yesterday and it was pronounced very satisfactory, at 140/73 I think.

I hope there is no hint of a euphemism when you say that Peggy Owen used to borrow your Wizard..

I don’t remember any reference to John Buchan. I read a short story of his in either the Observer or Telegraph a few Xmases ago and thought it was very second rate. So much so that I sent it to a friend whose literary qualifications and judgment I greatly admire, and he concurred.

I think there is still a degree of anti-German feeling.
After all, they beat us 3-2 in Brazil in the 1970 World Cup - and only because Banks was injured and Charlton was taken off when we were leading 2-1 with only 20 minutes to go. So they should really have let us go through to the semis but then, no doubt, the sore-loser Germans would have complained that it was unfair.
A lot of Scots still don’t like the Campbells either.

Like Graham, I can only suggest 4Ticks do as I generally do and type up blog comment in Word and save it (mine runs like a diary but less well filed). It can then easily be copied and pasted onto the blog.

I missed Biggles out of my reading list. He took pride of place for a while. I have always tended to read all the obtainable books by a favoured author one after t’other until I largely stopped reading after taking ‘A’ level Lit in the late 80s and after Joseph Heller, Len Deighton (only the Ipress File really impressed), John le Carre and Philip Roth.

I cannot immediately think of an example but I am sure I have had traumatic moments like your 'Caravan Holiday' exam.
I do remember the ‘History of Architecture’ paper in my RIBA Intermediate Exam when I was 19. I always found the history of anything boring, but I had answered 3 questions just about well enough and had to pick a fourth about which I knew nothing. I blagged it. When it came to the oral, the examiner said “Why didn’t you deal with this question first? it is by far your best answer.” Since then I have never been afraid to invent when knowledge has failed me.

When I did NS with the small unit, the CRE, in Tripoli, a friend and I ran the JRC (Junior Ranks’ Club) a sort of private enterprise NAAFI which led to us organising the Xmas Dinner (for the 69 ORs in the unit) in the Piemontese, a posh Italian restaurant on the Sciara Istiklal in town. I also joined the unit’s photographic club. When it came to returning to the UK for demob, I was the sole member, in charge of a dark room filled with equipment, enlargers etc, that I could not possibly bring home with me. I just padlocked the door and literally threw away the key. Some ten years later, Ghaddaffi made that barracks (Azzizia, the one bombed by US after Lockerbie) his palace. So he probably broke in and nationalised the photographic paper, etc.

Jill said...
Jessica certainly knows how to acquire money – not that it works on me.
If ‘budgeting and financial management of one's assets’ had been taught at schools or at home (which is where I learnt not to buy anything until I had the money) we would perhaps not be in the mess that we are today. I suppose the way that most of us were raised was, to some extent, a result of lessons learnt from the Depression of the 1920s/30s although ‘buy now, pay later’ is a relatively new, American habit that has obviously been adopted internationally.
Bloody Hell! Don’t I (we) sound old!

I read David Copperfield and have not got beyond the first chapter of a Dickens novel since. Excepting Little Dorrit, I prefer mine precised and dramatised.

I love goose; almost as much as stewed hare. But goose does need to be properly roasted to let the fat drain out. And, as with duck, I do not want it ‘pink’.

No knowledge of Rostellan's mucky habits but looking again at my sketches today I am surprised at the telling detail. Last thing at night and first thing in the morning was a fag which, when down to the last half inch, was simply thrown onto the tiled floor.
My favourite non-pc joke (from the eighties?) is:
“Preserve wildlife. Pickle a squirrel.”

Late correction.
Jessica did me for a fiver tonight as, for a novel treat, she was going to the ‘dogs’ with her mum and mum’s fella.
J and Steph each won about £3 but I didn’t get my stake back.

Referring to Graham’s headline weather report.
Jessica, wearing but T shirt and skirt, went out this morning to walk her dog and Sandra said “You’ll need a coat, it’s very cold..”
Her advice was ignored.
On returning, Jess said, “This man shouted across the road to me ‘Aren’t you cold?’ and I said ‘No,” and he said ‘Well I'm bloody freezing.’”

Anonymous said...

During the 70s the Blanket exersize was called a "Bed Block! Something the training nco seemed to find rather ofensive as he had a habit of Throwing it on the floor.
The barack rooms by this time slept 8 or 4 normaly.
My father served in tripoli and told me a story how gadafi had built brand new housing on the beach as part of the restructuring. only for the new inhabitents to move in , remove the windows and fill the holes with jerrycans.