Anecdotes

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Who, me?

It started at breakfast, not the normal time for a rumour to start the rounds, but this was not your run of the mill event. “Guess what?, the BC’s pranged his wagon”. Initially this was in hushed tones. Soon, however, the talk at every table was the fact that the Base Commander, the most powerful Bluey on the Rock had smashed his car up on the way back from Main Camp. Another Friday night, another victim. Had he over indulged perhaps? Or maybe hit the claw of a threatened crab? Maybe even a blow out.

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There’s a right way to do it!

I must say that I just couldn’t believe that anyone, especially a “Commissioned” Officer could allow such goings on as related in Bob’s last story ( H&S, Don’t make me laugh). What on earth was he doing to allow untrained Sappers into such a dangerous environment as a filthy fuel tank when there were 3 Fully Trained Petroleum Fitters serving on the Island. Now, we also had some tank cleaning due and in this story, you will see how it should be done. Firstly the equipment needed: Suit.

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I’ve got a bad case of crabs

I was really looking forward to the weekend. Everything seemed very rosy indeed. The truck was serviced, the rations all fixed up and the hay boxes were packed solid with ice and tinnies. This was going to be a real cracker. We finished our work about 11am, showered, got our kit ready and drove round to the cookhouse to pick up the scoff. There were only about 6 of us this time so the accommodation wasn’t going to be too overcrowded, there’d be more than enough to eat and with the amount of brew on board I couldn’t imagine there’d be too many sober conversations by midnight.

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The Collector

It had been one of those crazy type of days that reared its ugly head now and again. A whole bunch of RE’s were due to depart the Island in a few days so the beers were flowing, and the goodbyes were taking place. A bit early for goodbyes really but if it could be stretched out all the better. That gave you more than enough reason to see a drop off. It was a tradition to ensure that a large departure of personnel received a good send off. I can’t recall who was going, but it was sufficient to warrant a decent farewell party. On these occasions a Send Off Party was always arranged.

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Hooked on fishing

Yorkie and I, although not your actual “Rex Hunts” of this world, (a world renowned fisherperson) knew a little bit about fishing. Mainly the art of trace making and “Can Casting”. We had all the tools and equipment required to make any trace required to catch any kind of “Piscatorial Plonker” willing to latch on to our handiwork. We used to get visits from all sorts of potential fishermen for advice or assistance, but the one that sticks in my mind is the visit from “the Matelot”.

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The Twynam Fan Dance

Not really as exotic as it sounds. This is just a short story about how to keep your cool. In “Thing Remembered” Bob mentions “Flash table-lamps and electric fans in your bed space.” How true. As with the Cinema hat, having just a simple lamp or fan wasn’t enough. The lights came in various sizes, shapes capabilities and degrees of safety. However, this tale isn’t about lights, it’s about fans and the very memorable Fan Dance. If I recall correctly there were five of us in our Twynham.

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Anybody for a game of………Part 2

That’s the two deadly sporting pursuits dealt with, now let’s concentrate on the more sedate sporting activities carried out on the “Rock”. Firstly I’ll bypass the table tennis. Not many people partook of this curse of the sweat glands. So what next? Snooker. This sport has always been one of my favourites. Watching more than playing, but I’ll give anything a try. Christmas Island Snooker was, no doubt, only to be successfully played by either the colour blind or idiots. Maybe, a long time ago, before the rays of the sun had done the dastardly deed, snooker was a pastime worth pursuing.

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Anybody for a game of………Part 1

Sport. What sport you may ask? Football, cricket, fishing. All well known outdoor sporting activities. Table tennis, snooker, darts, and my favourite contact sport, 1 aside dominoes. I’ll cover them briefly in order of appearance. Football was played by most (leave me out) fit young men on the Island. However, these fit young men could be reduced to quivering wrecks when playing against the “Gilbertese 11”. It was a ritualistic form of blood letting.

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"Mack the knife"

While having a quick read through the stories so far, and thinking which disaster to about write next, it suddenly dawned on me that the "Prof" wasn't the only disaster area. It must seem blatantly obvious to anyone reading these stories that I wasn't the safest person to be round. This short story adds to that perception. Sunday. We all troop off down to the jetty to clamber aboard the M.F.V. (see photo ) to go fishing. This vessel was crewed by our friends the Naval Detachment. The “crew” usually consisted of two matelots, the coxswain and the engineer.

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No guts in this engine!

As any one who has read “The Greystone Phenomenon 2” will know, we were given our own trailer mounted pump. It was our most prized possession. Kid glove treatment was the order of the day as far as that little beauty went. One day, not too long after we’d got the pump, a job arose at the airfield tank farm that was made for the pump. By this time, we’d increased our transport fleet by the tune of one old Austin 1 Tonner. It was a brilliant old vehicle. It could outrun the “Snowdrop’s” vehicles by at least 10 mph.