Monday, 19 July 2010

Well 14 hours sleep did the trick, I am a new man! Had a long chat with my brother Paul, his MRI scan has been brought forward to the 10th August. Will be hoping he gets the all clear! No appointment in the post for me this morning so hey, it's probably been one great big mistake. Some guy somewhere who has been told he has hemorrhoids, actually has prostate cancer and I will just have to go out and buy some germaloid cream!

A BIG welcome to my friend Ceej, what a great guy and one that I respect and admire. Makes a bloody good curry too!

Had lunch with Julie, Denise and Jean today, never used to have pulling power like that! We are slowly becoming the Art World equivalent of the Masons. (No, not Mansons, Masons!) We are even talking of meeting up in Barcelona, or somewhere beginning with 'M'! It's great to have friends like that, what lovely people. Tonight it's curry and beer with my mate Paul who is coming down from Carlisle.

'Every time you tell a lie, a little fairy dies'. That's what I used to tell my kids. Is it ever OK to lie? You know when they say,'it was just a white lie!' In the early 70's, the roads in Britain were always full of soldiers hitchhiking. It was an easy way of quickly getting around the country and sympathy for the armed Forces was still on a high after the war. The minute you got to a roundabout you were picked up in a flash! After a few of us were bumped off by the IRA, they stopped us doing that. Lorry drivers especially, they would pick you up because in return, you had to chat to them to keep them from falling asleep at the wheel. There were no tachographs back then, you could drive until you crashed, and some did. The first thing you were asked was, so what do you do in the Army son?' At first, no problem. 'I am in the 24th Signal Regiment based in Catterick. We are serving in Northern Ireland right now, but due to go to Germany and Bahrain later in the year'. In training we were told to only give our number, rank and name if asked about military stuff. However, I don't think many lorry drivers would have been impressed if every time I was asked things like, 'what is the food like, or 'do you like it in the army', I was to scream back, soaking his face in saliva, '24105078 PRIVATE SENCIER SIR'. It was around the 20th or 30th time that I started to slip in the little changes. First, instead of Dan, I would say my name was Eric or Steve (never went as far as Pamela!). Then I would say I was serving in Korea. That driver said 'I thought we were out of that place ages ago son?' I replied, 'that's what they want you to think'. 'A horse trainer?' one driver said, 'you said you were a dog handler when I picked you up last month!' "I progressed', I said nervously. I told one driver that I was a Paramedic, it turned out that he had trained as a nurse. He thought I was mad because I kept telling him that I had signed the official secrets act, so couldn't discuss anything about my work. First Aid! I then thought, what if we come across a road accident! But the Lorry drivers who I want to thank the most are the ones who helped me during the winter of discontent, get all that coal to Harrogate, where I got a good price from my girlfriend's neighbours. The miners were on strike, so coal was on ration, but not to the Army, we had mountains of it! Twice a week I would fill two suitcases, stand at catterick roundabout and hitch to Harrogate. The cases carried a sack each and the lorry drivers had to get out of the cab to help me lift them, they were that heavy. Most just said 'blimey, these are heavy'! I said, 'it's the new uniform', or 'we are allowed to take our weapons home now'. One said, 'what have you got in their, COAL?' I laughed and said, 'yes!' He wasn't sure.....

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