Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Things Happen!

Things happen, here on site, when we first got here it was full - all 5 pitches being used, then it emptied out, and we were left nice and quiet with just us here for a couple of days. Yesterday two large caravans turned up. So we are back up to three now.

The sun has been shining longer on our caravan, not that I have had any benefit from it, as I leave at the crack of dawn, and back by just around 4 ish. The heat of the sun at the moment not strong enough to make it comfortable to sit out in. But it wont be long!

I had my PSV (bus/coach) driving test on Monday morning. I'm sad to say I failed it! How annoyed was I? Bloody raging!

As I approached a roundabout there were two lanes, I was taking the 2nd exit road ahead. Left hand lane, got onto the roundabout ok, but what I should of done was to close down/block the other lane off stopping anything from getting up along side me. I thought that I would be kind and not stop the flow of traffic. However, as I was tight into the left as I got half way around I had to steer right which took me across just a little to the right.

Now, when I was teaching, I always said, that if you see a large bus/coach/lorry on a roundabout give them plenty of room, and what ever you do, do NOT dive into a space next to them due to the fact that if it opens up quick it could just as easy close as quick! Make sure you have enough room to get past completely before you attempt to get by. 

So that's exactly what the driver of an Audi A3 did, dived at speed right into a gap that he had no chance of getting out of. So I had to hit the brakes or we would of hit. In doing so he did as well, and if you make someone slow down or change direction as a result of your driving that is your test blown!

By being kind and allowing the traffic to flow I cocked it up. So next time you see a bus/coach or lorry taking up two lanes and curse them for slowing you down, it's done for a good reason! I will be from now on taking up as much space as I need and if I slow you down - tough!

The thing is if he just held back slightly I would of got round fine and so would he! Just lack of thought on his part.

My next test is booked for next week, let's hope I don't meet Audi A3 man again!

Every day I have been travelling to the depot and meeting up with the instructor. There are several ways to get there, but I have finally got it down to a round trip of 72 miles a day. A bit of a drain on time and fuel, but so be it. I hate being late, so I set off at 0500hrs to be there for 0700hrs. Now 2 hours to do 36 miles seems a tad excessive? But, apart from 10 mins of national speed limit road, the rest is either through the New Forest at either 40mph or 30mph limit or through narrow country lanes.

The other morning when it was very foggy I only had 10 minutes left spare! Personally I would rather be 30 mins early than 5 mins late, guess that's what being in the Army does for you. You are only ever late once!

Which reminds me of a little story about being late, not that it was our fault they left without us!

Back when I was stationed in Osnabruck, myself and PB were sent for a fortnight's exercise with our vehicle to another Regiment. Now back in those days, we did things slightly different. So the night before myself and several others including PB had a good night out, not a sociable drink, but a full on, cant remember a thing type of night out. Not really the sort of thing that professional's should do! But hey ho!

We managed, not sure how, to get ourselves and our vehicle to Lippstadt by the skin of our teeth, having had less than 2 hours sleep and still to be honest slightly worse for wear! There must of been almost 100 vehicles all lined up on the parade square, a full deployment of men and machines. It was still dark, all the engines were running, diesel fumes choking you, shouts and banter from all the guys. We were told to go and park up near the back, which we did.

We were told that someone would shout for us to join a convoy when the time came. So, being as we had had very little sleep, and let's be honest - still slightly pissed, we promptly crashed out!

We woke several hours later to sun light, bird song and not a bloody soul around! The place was deserted! They had left us behind!

PB being the senior and therefore in charge went off to try and find out where we were supposed to go, a little later he returned with directions. We set off on what we thought was a non tactical exercise. Now a non tactical exercise is basically a chance to test equipment, you don't look like a walking hedge and you don't carry weapons. How wrong could we be. It was a full tactical exercise!

Our first meeting point was I think in Holland (PB correct me) where we parked up, and then discovered we were close to a Dutch army bar, with nothing else to do we locked up and headed straight there, got lashed up and still to this day, not completely sure how,  sold the uniform I was stood up in! I then had to spend the rest of the two week exercise, dodging all those in authority as whilst everyone else looked like walking hedges, I was in a tracksuit! (not even sure who's tracksuit)!

It took us a couple of days to catch up and get to our correct location of where we should of been. We were only two days late, not bad!

At one stage the Squadron Sergeant Major wanted to know where I was, PB made an excuse, I was actually hiding up on the roof of the wagon, trying to keep out of site! All I can say is, it was a good job it was the summer as I spent a lot of time up on that roof!

Thankfully being in the Signals, once we were in the backs of our vehicles, we were not really bothered, and even if we were, you could keep the door on a chain, or look through the spy hole and if you didn't like the look of, them simply refuse them entry! I did the night shift, and didn't open the door to any one!

Well, enough waffle,  till later....................


  1. Those were the days Jools when exercises took place. They very rarely happen now due to cut backs believe it or not. No money to train just the real thing!

    Makes me wonder reading your story how sucessful the Russian's would have been?!

  2. I reckon the Ruskies could of come in on a Weds afternoon or any when after 1600 on a fri and we wouldn't of noticed a thing!

  3. Stopped by early for the A to Z challenge. Did it last year. Couldn't resist this year!
    Giggle, Laugh, Cry

  4. tanks for making me giggle and giving me a laugh , you sound a bit of a character .. selling yuor uniform . LOL ... trying to give sgt bilko a run for his money eh!