Archive for April, 2010

What I did on my holidays.

Hi all, not posted for ages as I didn’t have anything definite to say.

I was trying to get into the T.A., but had many doubts as to whether I’d make it. I have had encouraging noises from several driving agencies, but as is the law with agencies, nothing has come of it.

I’ve applied for Tesco’s as a warehouseman, just to escape the crapness of my current job, not heard from that either.

So nothing actually happening to blog about it.

Well, nothing changing. I was still being sent to the freezer to work in these conditions;

Thus engendering happiness of this order;

My Kung Fu has been progressing apace. I took my first assessment and passed it, though not with any elan. Not without a bit of commitment either, for that matter;

But as for any change for the better in my driving career, nada.

This weekend it all changed. I had my assessment for the T.A.

As I say I really doubted whether I could get in, right on the limit for age (too old in 27 days, that’s how on the limit I actually am!) medical record from last time I served stating ‘temperamentally unsuited for military service’ or words to that effect. No actual driving experience, being a codger therefore too old to meet the fitness requirements, etc.

I booked some holidays (hence the title of this entry) and trotted off.

Bloody hell! The first night there, me and about fifteen other lads (and they were lads, most teens and early twenties) in one room, bunk beds, army horse blankets. It was a total flashback to twenty years ago in basic training. I hated it then, and I was hating it from memory straight away.

To add to my misery we were all marched (I say ‘marched’, they weren’t allowed to march us anywhere, we were put into three ranks and ‘ambled’) to the NAAFI bar. I don’t drink any more, so that was a trial in itself.

Obviously I didn’t get much sleep, everyone tossing and turning, snoring, and all the kids getting texts and such on their mobiles in the middle of the night. Then, being newbies, they were getting up at 5.45, when we didn’t have to get up until 6.15.

Had about three hours kip.

Less than loving it on the Saturday then.

From 5.45 until end of last lesson at 8pm. Bollocksed.

Anyway, we did team building exercises and such and I was a lot happier by the end of the day, back in army mode.

We did lots of test, and I was the second highest (that I know of) scoring person. The highest scorer was an A&E doctor, so not too shabby from me.

It was all hanging on the 1½ mile run, which I had to complete in under 14 minutes. Not too harrowing. Just a matter of focusing your chi and putting one foot in front of the other. So I thought. The uncertainty lay in the fact that I’d used google maps and a bit of string to guesstimate my training distance.

Not the most accurate of methods. I’d done a dozen or so runs on grass (harder on the leg muscles, easier on the knees) and thought my time was about 13 or so minutes.

When we did the run it was on a tarmac road.

We went out in a gaggle, then he set us off. We weren’t allowed watches so I was looking for anyone who had been regularly achieving 12s. Nobody had.

Set off at my own pace and found, to my dismay, that I was in the front group of five lads. I kept with them for the first half mile, but was worrying about my stamina so I ignored them and set my own pace. I had an ex Gurkha Infantryman just behind me, so I thought if I keep in front of him I’ll easily pass.

I turned the last corner, onto a 200 yard straight, the first four had spread out and the lead guy had already finished, when some young lad came charging past me.

I considered giving chase, but apparently when you finish your basic you have to match or beat your initial time, so their was no incentive (other than competitive pride) to do so. So I came in 6th out of 20, with a time of 10m 41s! Or, to put it in perspective, better than 13 younger people (turns out the Ex Gurkha was 44) and better than I did in my basic training 20 years ago!

In passing got to mention the doctor. She was determined. Apparently she was a bit of a porker, the army said she had to lose weight before they’d even let her apply, so she’d lost five stones! On the run it was clear her fitness was no great shakes, but through sheer force of will she managed to get across the line in 13m 40s. She was absolutely twatted after it. She just collapsed. They  ordered her to stand up, and she tried, but she just couldn’t. I don’t think I ever seen such force of will!

In conclusion, by the end of the weekend I was had done enough to be eligible for any job in the Royal Logistics Corps. I stuck with ‘driver’, it’s what I need right now. It seems that it’s easy to transfer regiments when you are ‘in’.

I got sworn in on the Sunday and as well as my Oath Of Allegiance got this;

Oh yes! Who needs a hoody for street cred?

Suppose it will look more suitable when I get all my hair chopped off. *sighs*

Oh, final note, there was another Nepalese geezer there, son of (and uncle of, brother of, grandson of etc) a Gurkha, who was dying of throat infection and cold (still passed his run) and he gave me his lurgy. Dammit, never free from infection, me.

Slept like a brick last night, and apart from the shittiness of this new bug, am all refreshed and back to civvy mode.

Things are happening.

Buck.

PS, forgot to mention, there has been a total change of function of the T.A. since I was a regular. S.T.A.B.’s they used to be called (Stupid T.A. Bastards), probably still are. In those days though, you did T.A. at the weekends, and were never going to be mobilised except as a last resort. Now they train you and mobilise you when you are needed. They said they can’t force you to mobilise in the first three years of T.A. service, but that is your job. If you’re not willing to go to war you are in the wrong job, really. I would do a tour. Just one. Fair’s fair. I’m getting what I want out of it, it’s only fair I do the job for which I am being paid. Also the guy said all drivers get HazMat (hazardous materials) training which I would cost over £400 in civvy street, and for the learning of I will be paid! Bonus!

PPS, whilst I was away for the weekend I have been eating meat again! Not only because I have got back into the killing game, thereby abandoning all pretence of morals or ethics, but out of practical considerations. It has been my experience that in the army if you don’t eat what you are given, you don’t eat.

Bad Bucky.