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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Roll Up Roll Up - All The Fun Of The Fair

Fortunately I wasn't shoe-horned into the back of a Warrior with 6 other blokes.

Oh no - having qualified as the Platoon Signaller I was stretched out in the back by myself.

Travelling cross-country in a Warrior is a strange experience. Sat in the back you have no idea of what's coming next. No opportunity to brace yourself for the next bump. The constant rattle of the tracks and throaty roar of the engine nags away at you. Sat next to the semi-translucent fuel tank you can see the diesel rolling backwards and forwards. The tidal sway of the fuel is enough to make some people sea-sick.

A radio transmission crackles through the headphones. Taking the message down on the pad the pitching and yawing of the vehicles sends the written message scrawling across the page.

Trying to make out my own scrawl in the half-light of the weak red bulb.

A call for a brew from the guys in the turret. 5 minutes and a slightly scalded hand later and the brew is up with the boss.

A stop - the rear door swinging open. Blinded by the light. Smoke a sly fag out of the half-cracked door before we move off again.

Speeding up now as we move into a practice attack. The vehicle slewing this way and that. We hit a large bump and hit the ceiling before crashing down onto the seat again. A comment from someone ringing in my ears:

"Civi's would pay good money for this."


Anonymous Kath said...

Sounds like a day in the back of a ranch truck ;o)

6:52 pm  
Blogger fjl said...

Only fifty p. ( In my day.) I used to like the rodent wheel on a lever that presses you against the cage wall. I walk that fair every September, on my way back from town, but I'm too much the mugwump to stop, look at it all, meander through , buy some candy-floss, take it easy, Go on the rides again... and recall my early teenagerhood feelings and hopes. Niki M in the cages, Luke W under the ferris wheel and Jo saying he was georgeous.
I would give anything to be there now, with all the rest erased.
There's more to it, if you remember what it was we paid for. I think the dark truth lurking is that I don't dare walk through it, stop, remember those days.. and sob and stutter like a fool. Some of its right, right at the back of my mind.
I mean when did we all have fun like that since. :-)

8:43 pm  
Blogger Brom said...

I was once driven through an army range in a Land Rover. The sergeant took a very bumpy line and seemed to be constantly scanning the immediate area. He sensed my curiosity and announced that the chances of a tank seeing us were not that good and the chances of us surviving a close encounter were even less!

9:21 pm  
Anonymous Jamie said...

I see what you mean by missing fingers now. Really, it can't be that much use in battle if its occupants are too injured to operate it. Unless there's a runner out front paving a nice, bump-free road for it. Or a more military version of baby car seats inside to strap yourselves in.

5:27 am  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Kath - yes but with your eyes shut.

FJL - fortunately I haven't grown up yet. ;)

Brom - unfortunately this still happens sometimes on the big training areas.

Jamie - you get used to it and there are seatbelts that you are supposed to wear.

10:38 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did a few weeks at Warminster (TA) to get my flags.. Learnt how to put up masts and carry very ancient radios that weigh a ton. All in all the course qualified me to make the CO or 2IC a brew and tune in BBC world service on the old UKPRC320 with a GSA attached... God I hate Dartmoor. Anyway, I left after 4 years because I got bored of doing nothing and generally getting shouted at... The Fuzz is much more of a laugh ;)

12:43 pm  
Blogger PI said...

Not this civi. The fuel smell would finish me. Even sailing I have to be up on deck. Do you get many soldiers who can't do it?

12:59 pm  
Anonymous Growing Up said...

Thats one thing i couldn't do i would throw up. I can't even go on a round about in a childs play park. Was anybody every sick in the back?

1:18 pm  
Blogger Katy Newton said...

International supermodels like me would tend to avoid the back of the Warrior. Not only could you easily break a nail, it would also be difficult to check your makeup.

Boot space would also be an issue.

3:15 pm  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Sounds like a regular car ride on some of our roads :-D

6:16 pm  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Lennie - welcome and all that sounds very familiar.

PI - quite a few who don't like doing it but never one who could put up with the ribbing he'd get for not doing it.

GU - thankfully no, just lots of spilt brews.

Katy - and even if you could check it - applying a bit of lippy would be quite tricky at 40mph.

GG - yes maybe I shouldn't be such a wussy.

6:24 pm  

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