He who hesitates

Some years ago I ran a workshop in a hotel in rural Germany.  All the participants on the workshop lived locally and went home each evening leaving me to my own devises.  The hotel had a health spa with an exercise room full of treadmills and those bicycles that don’t go anywhere, a swimming pool, steam room and sauna. On the first evening, after a walk round the village – which appeared to be deserted – I decided to have [...]

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We shot the brigadier

  I’m old enough to have done National Service.  At the age of 20 I was a 2/Lt in the Royal Artillery on active service in Malaya.  When we went up-country I was sometimes in charge of four 25 Pounder Field Guns and 24 men, six per gun.  We used to drive in convoy, towing the four guns, from Singapore, over the Johor-Singapore Causeway into the Malayan Peninsular.  Our destination was a preordained map reference somewhere in the Malayan jungle [...]

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My chemistry teacher

Long, long ago when I was at boarding school, we had a chemistry teacher who had been a major during WW2 and been decorated with the Military Cross for his bravery.  Apart from his moustache, he seemed an unlikely hero.  He was unusually short in statue and totally unassuming.  A confirmed bachelor, he was a keen gardener and grew sweet peas on trellises, using a step ladder to reach the top blooms.  A black Rover saloon was his pride and [...]

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An absurd accident

I have never broken any bones; not when  I was a kid doing daft things, not when I was a young man still doing daft things, and not now (or should I say yet?) as an old man at increased risk of falling over.  An exception might be my nose which I probably did break playing rugger at school.  Somehow breaking a nose doesn’t seem to count – no tell-tale plaster smothered in signatures, not even any certainty that it [...]

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Books

When I was a teenager I often used to stay with an aunt in Oxford.  The word ‘aunt’ probably doesn’t conjure up the right picture.  Please imagine a shapely, well groomed 38 year old woman who smoked (her cigarette stubs were covered in red lipstick), drank copious amounts of gin and tonic and had numerous admirers/lovers.  More to the point (after that build up, sorry to disappoint you!), she was also an avid reader. My aunt introduced me to, indeed made [...]

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Recent Anecdotes

So far as other people are concerned, you are your behaviour