Category Archives: veteran

British football must take a stand against FIFA.

poppy, fifa, footballAs you must be aware by now, FIFA, in their infinite wisdom (sic) have decided to punish the FA’s of the four home nations for offences relating to the display of the Poppy on Armistice Day.

Now you don’t need me to go into the grubby details because they are no longer of any importance. What is important however, is what happens next. For it surely goes without saying that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland must refuse to accept this punishment on the basis that the poppy is not, nor ever has been, a political symbol. 

The various FA’s of course, have a record of ballsing things up and we are already hearing noises about fines being paid, albeit reluctantly, in an effort to avoid any potential sanctions. But in this instance, all those sitting behind their polished desks at Wembley, Hamden Park, Vanguard Way and Donegal Avenue have to understand the depth of feeling involved and accept that this is an issue which is bigger than football. Much bigger in fact.

It is about the integrity of the poppy, the memory of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice and the fact that our tradition of remembrance on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is enshrined in the British DNA. Not because it’s political as FIFA allege, but because it is honourable and respectful.

As a consequence, those who administer our national game have to do the right thing and make a stand against this ludicrous decision. Anything else would be a dereliction of the duty they owe not just to those who follow the game, but to the history of their respective nations.

@dougiebrimson

sex, lads romance, love, vibrator, george clooney, fart

football, soccer, comedy, cost of football, manchester united, liverpool, derby, watfordJust in case you didn’t already know, all of my books and DVD’s are available from both Amazon and iTunes.

Further information at dougiebrimson.com

screenwriting, author, ebooks, kindle, green street, w

Never mind FIFA, Theresa May’s the wrong ‘un when it comes to Poppygate.

remembrance sunday,poppy,football,fifa,faLike many people, I’ve been somewhat irritated today by the news that FIFA, that most honourable of institutions, has refused permission for the teams to display Poppies on their shirts during the World Cup Qualifier at Wembley on Armistice Day.

Inevitably, a sizeable chunk of the nation went ballistic at this news whilst the British press, another honourable institution, have been almost rabid in their condemnation of football’s governing body. And to be fair, I had my say as well.

However, as the day has gone on I have mellowed somewhat on the subject of Poppygate and to be fair to FIFA, I have actually been able to see their point. After all, we are brought up with the poppy and understand exactly what it represents but not everyone overseas is familiar with it as anyone who has ever spent Nov 11th in either America or Russia (for example) will know only too well. 

Therefore it is not unreasonable to assume that whoever received the request from the FA simply responded as they would to the potential use of any symbol (OK, I’m being generous but let’s be honest, someone screwed up somewhere). It’s also not unreasonable to assume that inevitably, some kind of compromise will be reached and that this most special and poignant of days will be suitably marked. As of course, it must be.

The result of course, is that Poppygate will simply fade into the background and become yet another non-story of the kind which the British press are prone to create these days in a desperate effort to deflect attention away from something else.

But, there was one comment today which really got my goat and as the day has gone on, I have become more and more angry about it. It was made by Theresa May during Prime Ministers Questions today and was this:

poppygate,poppy,FIFA,football

Now I am a big fan of our PM but in this instance she is out of order. Bang out of order in fact. Because to use a phrase from the good book, ‘let those without sin cast the first stone.’

If we didn’t have veterans living on the streets, if we didn’t have veterans committing suicide because their mental health issues aren’t being addressed, if we didn’t have veterans scrabbling around for help from the NHS and if we didn’t have a Marine languishing in prison after being unjustly convicted of murder, then she would have a right to say what she did. But we do, so she doesn’t.

So here’s a message for Ms May from one veteran speaking on behalf of many veterans: If you’re going to tell someone to get their own house in order, especially when it’s made in the context of the military and veteran community, make sure that yours is squeaky clean first. Because I’ve got news for you, you have some serious tidying up to do before the UK is going to pass that particular inspection. 

@dougiebrimson

sex, lads romance, love, vibrator, george clooney, fart

football, soccer, comedy, cost of football, manchester united, liverpool, derby, watfordJust in case you didn’t already know, all of my books and DVD’s are available from both Amazon and iTunes.

Further information at dougiebrimson.com

screenwriting, author, ebooks, kindle, green street, writing

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Why I support ‘Free Marine A’.

marine, army, Afghanistan, Iraq, This morning, suited and booted, I will be joining the ranks of the masses commuting into London.

This in itself, is hardly a big deal. After all, there are millions of people who do the same thing every single day but for me, it’s a very rare occasion. Normally, I avoid the rush hour like the proverbial plague.

Today however, isn’t a normal day. It’s actually a very special day. For at 11.30, a large group of military veterans led by a sizeable contingent of former Royal Marines, will gather in Parliament Square in a silent show of support for Sergeant Al Blackman who is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of a Taliban insurgent. And I will be one of them.

Don’t get me wrong, Sgt Blackman served in a very different military from the one I did. His career as a member of one of the worlds elite military fighting units involved front line combat in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan amongst other places. Mine, as a ground engineer in the Royal Air Force, generally involved avoiding work where possible and trying to squeeze as much money as possible from the RAF Motorsports Association.

However, we have one thing in common: we wore a British military uniform and whilst the colour of our beret’s was, and is, vastly different, it gives us a common bond. Which is why, like all the veterans in attendance tomorrow as well as the many thousands who cannot make it, I will be doing my utmost to show my disgust at the fact that a brave man languishes in prison simply because he was hung out to dry by the very people who were, and are, supposed to protect him.

So if you’re in London todayand you see anyone wearing anything which marks them out as ex-military, you know where they’re either going or have been.

I know they would appreciate your support.

If you would like to know more about the background to the case of Marine A, please read this article by the author Frederick Forsyth.  

@dougiebrimson


football, comedy, humour, rivals, derby, soccer, premier league, championship, manchester united, chelsea, liverpoolMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers,The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.

Why tax is key to the case for Brexit.

As the inevitable mud slinging and bullshit battle gathers pace ahead of the European referendum on June 23rd, there is one issue I have found increasingly irritating.

My growing annoyance was given further momentum in the wake of the budget and the subsequent, and wholly justified, furore about the Tories plans to mess about with the Personal Independence Payment.

It is, quite simply, the issue of taxation. Not the fact that numerous corporations are somehow allowed to avoid paying it nor the fact that we as individuals have no choice but to pay it, but the way that we, as the public, perceive it. For the reality is that when it comes to the subject of tax, the majority of us are idiots because we fail to grasp, and keep a very firm grip on, one simple fact.

When the press and the government talk about taxpayers, they are talking about us. You and me. Therefore when they talk about taxpayers money, what they are actually talking about is YOUR money, OUR money, MY money.

So the next time you read about the £20,000.000,000 we hand to the EU every year, take a second to think about how much of that is actually yours. Picked from your pocket via income tax, VAT or any of the myriad ways the government have developed to remove your hard earned from your pocket. Then think about where that money could, and should, be better spent.

If you are anything like me, the list will be long and it will be local because I don’t want my taxes propping up the Greek economy or wasted on bizarre projects like ‘Donkeypedia’ (Google it!) I want them spent where they will make a difference to me and the people I care about. That’s why I will be voting to leave on June 23rd. Well, that and security, sovereignty, etc, etc.

However, if you are still in any doubt as to where your own vote might go, if there is a more graphic illustration of the need to leave than the current situation regarding the 5% VAT paid on sanitary products, I can’t think what it is.

The fact that our government has only been allowed to even talk about scrapping this ridiculous tax after a long and protracted spell of grovelling at the feet of the European Parliament is a shame on this once proud nation.

Do I really need to say any more?

@dougiebrimson

football, comedy, humour, rivals, derby, soccer, premier league, championship, manchester united, chelsea, liverpoolMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers, The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.

Brexit, LeaveEU, veteran, politics, Tory, Great Britain

Brexit? It’s a no brainer.

brext, europe, britain, politics, referendumThe other day, I employed the power of Facebook to ask for a single sensible reason why we should remain as members of the EU.

Amongst the deluge of responses providing me with reasons to the contrary, I received only a single pro-Europe voice which made the claim that were we to vote to leave, the banking industry would flee our little island in droves and as a consequence, the banking industry would suffer.

Well with the utmost respect to those at the coal face of the industry, in terms of eliciting sympathy, bankers rate fairly highly on the ‘fuck off’ scale and indeed, the majority of people who responded to me would seemingly be delighted to see them getting a taste of the medicine they’ve spent years creating. (Go and see The Big Short. Honestly… go see it!)

This reaction didn’t exactly come as a surprise. I’ve never made any secret of the fact that I’m English first, British second and European never and for decades I’ve watched helplessly as my country slipped ever deeper into the cesspool that is the EU. As a consequence, the opportunity to leave genuinely excites me, and for two particular reasons.

Firstly, I think it’s fairly obvious to anyone who lives in the real world, as opposed to an ivory tower or the wilds of Cumbria, that our housing and public services are at breaking point. And despite the liberal-left screaming that this is all due to a lack of investment by the Tory government (whilst conveniently forgetting the 15 years we endured under Blair and Co) the stark reality is that we are in this situation because our population has risen by around 10% since 2000. We might not be full, but it certainly feels and looks that way in parts of the country. It is therefore imperative that we gain proper control of our borders which is something we simply do not have at the moment and nor will we have whilst a member of this mess.

Secondly, membership of the EU costs us £55,000,000 per day. Think about that for a second. Yes, we get chunks back in subsidies but official figures still put the cost to us, the British tax payer, at between £33,000,000 and £20,000,000  per day. Do I really need to say any more on why that is utter madness?

Inevitably, having finally woken up to the fact that the majority of the population want out, the ‘stay’ campaign have begun a policy of scaremongering (‘jungles’ in Kent’… seriously?) whilst even that well known lover of all things British, the joyous Ms Merkel, has begun pleading with us to remain. Of course she has, she’s suddenly realised that fairly soon she’s going to be looking into a daily black hole where our £33,000,000 should have been as well as having to deal with a refugee crisis which could not have been handled any more appallingly if she’d tried.

Well those are her problems, not ours. And whilst I’m not daft enough to accept that it won’t be a bed of roses from day one, I fail to see how in the long term, the UK can fail to prosper away from an organisation which is absolutely nothing like the one we originally signed up for back in 1973. We might even start putting the Great back into Great Britain.

It’s a no brainer for me, Brexit all the way. The sooner the bloody better.

PS: I must reluctantly make reference to this, if only because it’s one of the sticks being used to beat the ‘Leave’ lobby. If you’re reason for voting to remain in the EU has anything to do with UKIP, I would urge you to think again. Don’t vote to stay because you don’t like Nigel Farage, vote to leave because it’s the right thing for the country, and ultimately, for you.

Speaking of Facebook, and apologies for repeating myself, but as some people are aware, I am one of a number of people involved in a legal dispute with Jonathan Sothcott, the producer of Top Dog.

I won’t go into details here as it’s now a matter for HMRC and the police who have already interviewed him in connection with our allegations. However, both Top Dog Films Ltd and We Still Kill The Old Way Ltd, have recently been wound up on account of unpaid invoices and as a consequence, the investigator for the Official Receiver has contacted me and requested that anyone remaining unpaid for work on Top Dog, We Still Kill or for that matter, any film made by one of Jonathan Sothcott’s companies, contact him direct as a matter of urgency.

His details are: Andrew Beckett, Official Receivers Office, The Insolvency Service (London), 2nd Floor, Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2HT .

Tel: 0207 637 6337 email: andrew.beckett@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk

@dougiebrimson

football, comedy, humour, rivals, derby, soccer, premier league, championship, manchester united, chelsea, liverpoolMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers, The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.

Georgina, refugee, brexit, politics, author, screenwriter, racism, racist, hooligans, blogger, UKIP, Farage, Sothcott

These vindictive and cowardly attacks on our Armed Forces must be stopped.

veteran1It may or may not have escaped your attention that our Armed Forces are currently under attack. Not from ISIS (or whatever they’re calling themselves these days) but from a new enemy.

Ambulance chasers, traitors, filth, cowards, call them what you will (and trust me, whatever term you want to use, I agree with you) this enemy within is profiting, if not driving, a witch hunt against over 250 serviceman and veterans on the basis of often spurious historical allegations made against them  during operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.

That this is being allowed to continue is wrong on so many levels but the fact that the bulk of it is being funded by the tax payer, that’s you and me, beggars belief. What other country on this planet would send it’s men and women off to war and then undermine them in such a heartless and gutless manner once they return home? Isn’t it bad enough that so many are leaving the forces without proper medical care, work or even homes?

However, whilst all of this heaps further shame on an already shamed Ministry of Defence and the resident of 10 Downing Street, there is a silver lining. For in the face of this injustice, the veteran community are being unified like never before.

Army, Navy or RAF, you come after one, you come after us all and the vast majority of us have quite simply had enough of being targeted whilst the terrorists and guilty politicians walk free. And make no mistake, that same sentiment is increasingly being felt by those still in uniform.

We have already seen peaceful protests in London in support of Marine A and in Birmingham in support of L/Cpl J and more are planned for the coming months but in addition, the following advice is urgently being circulated to all those who have or who may or may not be contacted by any organisation carrying out an investigation of this kind:

1) Ignore any letters. They have NO relevance in law.

2) Do not under any circumstances attend any place or office if requested. If they want you, let them arrest you and a whole new ball game opens up.

3) If arrested say nothing request a lawyer. Number, rank, name is sufficient. 

4) Whoever arrests you has 24 hours to charge or release you.

5). A tactic may be to bail you ‘pending further enquiries’ if this happens make an immediate complaint against arresting officer. This is a ‘historic enquiry’ so what further enquiries are necessary?

6). Make a Freedom of Information demand to the MOD for the identity of the complainant and, more importantly, if the complainant is or was a paid intelligence source. This will really mess them up because if there is even a sniff of something untoward, they will have to drop it for fear of negative publicity.

Please help by circulating this information (or this blog) to any serviceman or veteran you might know because one way or another, we have to put a stop to it. 

After all, if a nation puts its military on the back foot it won’t be too long before it doesn’t have a military left. And in these uncertain times, we as a nation are going to need them more than ever.

If you would like to see more information about the kind of thing going on, please visit one of the following:

Army chief backs Iraq troops

I’d rebuilt my life… 

Just leave me be…

Why this photo haunts my writing life. 

Harrier, author, writing, football, filmOn Dec 31st 1975, a week short of my 17th birthday, I left the confines of my happy, if chaotic, family home and headed off for an adventure. Or to put it another way, I headed off to begin my basic training in the Royal Air Force.

I have written about my time in the military many times and no doubt, will do so again as I become more and more involved in all things veteran. However, the more I think back to those days, the more I have one very specific regret; I never kept a diary. As a consequence, I’ve forgotten far more than I can remember.

Take the photo at the top of this blog. Yes, that fresh faced lad on the left is me, standing alongside a gentleman (and I use that term loosely) named Pete Cutler. It was taken in approximately 1980/81 and the fact that we were on deployment with the Harrier Force and flying out of a forest somewhere in Germany are about the only details I can remember with any degree of accuracy.

On the face of it, that would be enough. It is after all, a relatively simple picture. However, that single photograph serves as a portal into a unique world that very few people ever got to experience. I’m not talking about being at the sharp end of the West’s response to the threat posed by the Soviet Union or the fact that we were working with what was possibly the greatest military aircraft of all time. I’m taking about what went on when the flying stopped and we were free to relax. And when I say relax, I mean get up to mischief.  

Indeed, it’s safe to say that were I ever to write my autobiography, life out in the field with 4 Squadron RAF (and Mister Cutler for that matter) provided that young fresh faced lad on the left with enough anecdotes to fill more than a chapter or two.

Blagging a flight in the rear seat of a T2 Harrier, living in an abandoned Nazi Hospital, swearing at Fergie (the Princess, not the manager), waking up in a lake (literally), encounters with the SAS, getting shot at and even late night visits to live sex shows are amongst numerous tales I have rattling around my head from those days but sadly, thanks to the obligatory intake of vast amounts of duty-free alcohol coupled with the passing of far too many years, the details of most are at best sketchy and at worst, vague. Yet had I kept even a simple diary, all of this history and more would be at my fingertips ready to be transcribed.

The fact that I didn’t is one of my greatest regrets and not just as a writer or even as a veteran, but as someone who has lived and enjoyed their life. Then again, if I were able to put it all on paper, it’s fairly safe to say that it would be quite a read!

So please, whoever you are and whatever you do, keep a diary, even a basic one. And urge your kids to do the same. You never know when it might come in handy.

@dougiebrimson

football, comedy, humour, rivals, derby, soccer, premier league, championship, manchester united, chelsea, liverpoolMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers,The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.

 

Shorten the Remembrance Day Service? Yes please!

veterans, remembrance sunday, cenotaph, military, armed forces, london, poppyIt’s been announced today that at the request of Buckingham Palace, the Remembrance Day parade at the Cenotaph in London is to be shortened.

Not surprisingly, many people are assuming that this has been done to take a pop at Mr. Corbyn and the left-wing with others claiming it’s being done to avoid any kind of ‘scene’ on the day. There are even some allegations flying around that it’s yet another attack on both the veteran community and the armed forces by a government who seems hell-bent on running our military into the ground.

All of this is, to be frank, bollocks.

As someone who actually takes part in that parade as a member of the Falklands Veterans element, I can tell you that this decision isn’t just welcome, it’s long overdue.

Many of the men and women will be marching on Nov 8 are of seriously advancing years and whilst all of them are not only honoured to be taking part but will often have been looking forward to it all year, doing so is actually physically demanding. Remember, we don’t just stand in Whitehall and march past the memorial as part of the service, we have to gather in Horse Guards for an hour beforehand and that means a long time on our feet. And whilst we all do it willingly, believe me when I say that even for me with my dodgy back, it’s tough. Goodness only knows what it’s like for someone in their 80’s who has dodgy joints and so whoever made the decision to trim it down to make it easier for the old boys to pay their respects to their comrades in the most hallowed of places should be applauded.

Remembrance Sunday is about one thing and one thing only. It’s not the politicians, the nation, the commonwealth or even the Royal Family. It’s not even about the men and women who will march on the day. It’s about the men and woman whose names are engraved on memorials or headstones the world over. Because lest we forget, they and their memory are the most important participants of all.

For those who gave their tomorrows, wear your poppy with pride.

@dougiebrimson


football, comedy, humour, rivals, derby, soccer, premier league, championship, manchester united, chelsea, liverpoolMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers,The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.

The picture that shames a nation.

shame1A photograph appeared this week which shamed this nation.

No, it’s not the one you are thinking about, horrific though that was, it’s another one.

This one.

soldier1
I know something of the background to this and I’m glad to say that thanks largely to the veteran community on social media but primarily to some of the excellent charities who support homeless veterans,  the guy and his family are now receiving the help he needed. But that’s not the point, the point is that he ended up in this desperate situation in the first place.

That he did so is a source of shame to us all.

A nation is defined in many ways but to me, a key reflection of a country is the way it looks after those who have served to defend and protect it. One only has to look toward the US to see the reverence with which it treats its military veterans to see that and the same can be said of many countries across the world. So why is it not the same here?

For sure, things are much better than they were 20 years ago when telling someone you were an ex-serviceman was akin to an admission of leprosy, but even now, veterans are frequently regarded as second class citizens. That’s especially true when it comes to the issue of social housing which goes some to explaining why there are in the region of 4500 veterans currently living on the streets of Britain.

Yes, that’s right. Four thousand five hundred.

That isn’t right, it isn’t fair and it’s actually contrary to the Armed Forces Covenant which states that local authorities in England give additional priority to members of the armed forces community with urgent housing needs. Well if being homeless isn’t urgent, I don’t know what is yet all too often, and for all kinds of reasons, elected officials are allowed to duck their duty of care and instead, abdicate their responsibility toward veterans to charity.

But at a time when this country is once again on the verge of asking our men and women in uniform to place their lives in danger to protect our way of life, should we, and especially our elected officials, not be doing better for their comrades? Of course we should. Not just for their sakes, but for the sake of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Be it on The Somme, Normandy, Burma, Korea, Northern Ireland, The Falklands, Kuwait, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan or any one of a thousand conflicts in which the British military have been involved.

One homeless veteran is one too many. It always will be.

If you would like to know more, please visit Homes4HomelessVeterans or Soldiers Off The Streets.

The Falklands War – My guilty secret.

argentina, falklands war, thatcher, royal airforce, nimrod, vulcan, harrierNormally, at around 4.00 in the afternoon, my writing life will be dominated by one of two things.

If I’m in writing mode, it’ll be the sounds of Bjork in my headphones and if I’m in skiving mode it’ll be some crap TV show like Come Dine With Me or Deal or No Deal as a lounge on the sofa.

Recently however, I have discovered the delights of Simon Mayo on Radio 2 and having been listening to his excellent ‘Confessions’ slot, I have been inspired to confess something of my own. Not because I feel guilty about it and need forgiveness, but because I just feel the time is right to get it off my chest. So here goes…

In 1982, whilst a young, impressionable and innocent Corporal, I was dispatched to Ascension Island as a part of the Royal Air Force detachment involved with the South Atlantic Task Force. For those who do not know, Ascension Island is a volcanic rock in the middle of the South Atlantic. It’s hot, windy and dusty which can make things extremely uncomfortable when you’re living in tents and what with that and the huge amount of aircraft movements taking place, sleep was at a premium during the day.

More importantly, the island is home to a beautiful and very long runway which meant that it provided the perfect operational hub for the men and equipment being put together to repel the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Islands. As a consequence, by the time I arrived, at around the same time as the first British ships heading for war, it was somewhat busy.

Now, my job will remain secret for reasons which would be obvious if you knew what they were but suffice to say, my shift pattern was 24 on, 24 off. Unfortunately, the ‘on’ portion involved my sergeant and I remaining both awake and alert which whilst fine at first, was not fine after about a week. Zombies comes close.

As a consequence, we began a rota where one would snatch sleep whilst the other remained awake rushing awake doing the work of two men. This worked well for a few days until it all went horribly wrong. Or to be more specific, I cocked it up.

It’s fair to say that being on an active and very busy airfield during time of war is extremely exciting but as you can imagine given our location, the facilities left something to be desired. And by facilities, I mean specifically, toilets.

This was fine for ‘number one’s’ but when the body placed additional demands on you (if you get my drift) you needed an actual toilet. And let’s face it, I wasn’t in the Army, I was in the RAF so our much higher standards meant that we couldn’t just ‘go’ anywhere! 

Unfortunately, the toilets for us lowly airmen were about half a mile away and consisted of what are known universally as ‘long drops’. These being basically long planks of wood with holes cut in them. I will leave you to work out the rest but to say they leave a lot to be desired is an understatement. Especially at 3.00 in the morning when it is pitch black.

war, falklands, ascension, RAF, royal air forceHowever, within one hundred yards of my building on the side of the aircraft pan were four chemical toilets of the sort you see at music festivals and on building sites. The problem for me was that these were specifically for officers, pilots and aircrew and we oikes had been expressly forbidden to use them under pain of disciplinary action. Indeed, so serious was this threat that they were actually surrounded by barbed wire with a small gap providing the only entrance.

As you can imagine, toilet envy became a huge factor in our lives. Something exacerbated by what I can only describe as  the habit of ‘showing off’ by those eligible to use them.

Well, at some ungodly hour of the morning during one particular shift, I was, to be blunt, caught short. With the airfield reasonably quiet and my sergeant fast asleep under his desk, I took the decision that rather than wake him and endure my long walk to the long drops, I would risk it. My thinking being that not only would I be away from my desk for a shorter period but I would obtain a small victory for junior ranks everywhere by taking a dump in the officers bogs. Such victories are, after all, what the British Forces are based on.

So within minutes, I’d crept out of the building and in full SAS mode, has slunk through the darkness across the extremely crunchy volcanic ash and was sitting comfortably doing what came naturally.

Inevitably, after two or three minutes I heard footsteps approaching and it suddenly struck me that I could soon find myself in serious trouble. I was after all, disobeying a direct order. But just as importantly, so could my sergeant who was at the very moment blissfully unaware that I wasn’t actually there holding what should have been a very secure fort whilst he was fast asleep on active duty. Being one of the most serious offences in the military, had he been caught he would almost certainly have faced a court martial which could well have resulted in a prison sentence and demotion if not even dismissal from the service. We were after all, at war.

As all this ran through my brain, all I could do was sit and hope to goodness that the fast approaching officer would not even try the locked door to my cubicle (something which might well have led to him asking who was in there) but would simply enter one of the three empty cubicles thus allowing me time to escape.

It was at this point that I noticed that I had neglected to lock said door and even as I reached for it, it swung open to reveal a very senior officer silhouetted against the South Atlantic sky.

As he took a step forward, I suddenly realised that it was so dark inside that he hadn’t actually seen me sitting there and so all I could to was shout ‘BOO!’ at which point he let out a high pitched scream, turned and ran back at high speed toward the collection of portacabins which formed the operations centre.

Within seconds I was sprinting after him and made it through the gap in the barbed wire just as an alarm went off and all hell broke loose.

By the time I made it back to the safety of my building, the first of the armed patrols had arrived as rumours spread that the very real fears of an Argentine Special Forces attack on the airfield had been realised.

It was some hours before things calmed down and an investigation began into what had caused such a flap. Of course, being the closest building to said toilets, suspicions that the culprit was close to home soon centred on yours truly but my vehement denials as well as my sergeants assertions that I had not left our office at any time meant that I escaped unpunished.

A few days later, the first shots were fired down South and the incident was forgotten but it has stuck with me ever since and the time has now come to put my hands up.

Not because I almost gave a senior officer a coronary or caused him a degree of embarrassment (after all, he screamed like a little girl and ran away) or because numerous police and soldiers ended up sending hours scouring the locality looking for non existent invaders, but because of my sergeant.

For not only did I almost cost him a twenty year career, his pension and a spell in military prison, but he spent the next five weeks terrified of shutting his eyes whilst we were on duty in case I actually did drop him in it. Mind you, that did mean I got all the sleeping time.

So sorry Tim. I hope you’ll be pleased to know I feel much better for getting that off my chest.

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My latest novel, Wings of a Sparrow  is available in ebook and paperback format from either Amazon or iTunes.

The audio version of Top Dog is now available to download via the link and joins the ebook, paperback and movie to make the clean sweep of all platforms! Not too shabby if I say so myself.

And speaking of movies’, my next project will hopefully be announced at some point over the next month. It’s going to be a cracker.

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