It’s 45 years ago today that I joined the Royal Navy (27 September 1971) and had this mug shot taken for my ID Card and Passport. I still remember having the photo taken and the mixture of feelings going around inside me. I was excited to be enlisting but missing my family and had no idea what tomorrow would bring. But if I had my time over I’d do it all again. #BlastFromThePast
Here’s a special pik. Just had a virtual trip (thank you Google Maps) around Gibraltar where we used to live 1977/78 when I was in the Royal Navy and where Benita was born and where Tracey went to school. We lived with our three daughters at 21 Edinburgh House on Queensway (when I served HMS Rooke) and this photo shows the entrance to our home. It hasn’t changed one iota and I have nothing but lovely memories of our beautiful outpost.
My virtual tour took me around my favourite haunts including Alameda Gardens, Caleta Palace, the Piazza, Irish Town, Montague Bay, Rosia Bay, Eastern Beach, St Michaels Cabin and of course the rock apes area.
A really lovely blast from the past for me 🙂
I can’t imagine the horrors that my father and his colleagues witnessed in the war as servicemen. But what I can do is have the grace to remember that any freedoms I enjoy in life are as a direct result of their sacrifice. I love you Dad. Thank you to you and all servicemen past and present for protecting our country and our way of life. You truly are heroes.
Last Saturday when we took the children to Skegness for a last outing they were fascinated to know that I’d been to Australia many years ago; Carol elaborated telling the children I had been all around the world when I spent ten years in the Royal Navy and it sent my mind into reminisce mode.
The photo above is my 19th birthday in 1974 aboard HMS Scylla as we were berthed alongside in Sydney. I was duty that day so the chefs made me a cake and we all had a few beers. I found Australia a wonderful country with a fantastic welcome from people; my fascination with their wildlife (Koala, Kangaroo, Platypus) lives on today.
Today I’m in the UK, but my thoughts and love are in Australia with my little people x x
Today is my 38th wedding anniversary. I met my lady Ms.Grace, also known as Carol, when we were both teenagers and I’d just returned from a tour of the Far East. It was one of those moments when you look at someone in the eyes and see yourself looking back. Life had not been a ‘walk in the park’ for either of us and we both knew that before we’d even spoken a word to the other.
This is one of my favourite photographs; it shows Carol and me with our three daughters at their christening in Gibraltar where we were living at the time. It also shows how blessed I was then and explains why I still feel blessed now x
Here’s a quick snap of my little man Mowgli waking up for another day of his holiday in Pembrokeshire. We have the tiniest of little caravans in my daughters garden but it’s absolutely idyllic overlooking Strumble Head. At night the lighthouse gently sends round a beam through the windows which for some strange reason takes me back to my navy days and which I find quite comforting. I’m managing a bit of revision on my holiday but must admit only when I’m not doing something more interesting. Later today we are taking our grandchildren Ayla and Ethan shopping to Haverfordwest.
Today I returned home from Turkey to a lovely surprise, my Veterans Award from the Government on behalf of the Queen. I remember being told about it some months ago and was asked if I wanted a formal presentation which I declined. It would have been by some politician or dignitary and in my view that would have been an occasion more for their own publicity and I didn’t think the theme suited an occasion like that.
I guess we all have periods in our lives which remain fondly in our memories and my time in the armed forces is one of those. Tales of those days will be in my autobiography here on my website between the dates of 1971-1981 but for now I’ll just relish the moment in hand.