Loitering with intent – The story of an abandoned tent : @JakeTheWriter

Being a person with a penchant for outdoor pursuits, I have camped since a very young age. I include camping on the Cairngorms, Snowdon and Brecon Beacons in the midst of winter in snowstorms including a whiteout on Darva Moor as well as many times in France and Spain. In spite of all this and even at my great age I usually still manage to have a camping break a couple of times a year.

Since having replacement joints in both knees I have compromised and bought myself a large six berth two bedroom affair on the grounds of comfort and joy. I however still get a buzz from waking up free from the pressures of the world and if I’m lucky to birdsong and sunshine.

Last year in early June I was in North Norfolk for a break bird watching and photographing in the salt marshes in a hired Canadian canoe and was accompanied by an old friend, Lee a former Captain in the South Vietnamese Army during the Viet Nam war. Lee was attached to the American Army as an intelligence officer and was left behind in the American Embassy when the Americans and anti communist forces withdrew, or as Lee puts it got their running boots on.

Lee had spent the next 4 years hiding out with his thirteen men in the jungle and successfully brought all of his men out safely via Cambodia and Thailand. I was unable to teach Lee very much about survival in the wild but he appreciated the comfort of my tent and my Michelin starred camp cooking.

Came the morning for us to break camp the weather was still good but the Met Office had issued a severe weather warning so we didn’t spend too long packing everything into the car and clearing up our area. The campsite is one that I regularly use and is top class (no groups, no noise after 10pm and kept immaculate). I cleared up our rubbish and headed for the bins. Very green, separate bins for glass, paper, plastic etc., I separated our rubbish taking the cardboard packaging from the plastic carrier bags and so on. I was about to put the plastic in the correct bin and opened it up . . . . . . . completely empty except for a virtually brand new tent all roughly rolled up with its bag, poles and pegs chucked on top.

As I am a pre WWII baby I abhor waste. I looked around the site which contained a few campervans, about a dozen family size tents, most of the occupants having left for the day. The Yurts and Tepees were also unoccupied. As the tent in the bin was obviously deliberately abandoned I felt no qualms about liberating it in order that it may be recycled. I packed it into my car boot and we set off for home.
It rained for the next few days so the errant tent was left in my garden shed until the next dry and sunny day and I was able to examine it more closely. As I thought the tent was virtually new, it was a two man model with built in groundsheet, the telescopic poles, pegs etc., all had separate bags and there was even a new looking LED camping lantern. All deliberately discarded and looking as forlorn as an abandoned kitten. Aaah!
I have found the kit a new home and its next outing hopefully will be a much happier one, probably at Glastonbury Music Festival.

My next outing will be to North Wales next week to look at the mountains but as a professional raconteur and teller of tales I am sitting here trying the imagine the story my recycled two man tent could tell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It wasn’t abandoned after a hellish night of storms by its only just survived occupants. Could it have been dumped by a Romeo and Juliet after a lover’s tiff? If that was the case surely the tent would have just been left where it stood as one or both drove off in a huff (they came by car and left in a huff). Perhaps it was a guy on his own who had been watching Bear Grylls on the box and discovered that sleeping on the floor wasn’t conducive to a good night’s sleep.

I can’t understand why the tent was taken down and the pegs put in the bag, the poles folded up but the tent was screwed up and the lot including its bag plonked in the bin. Why not donate it to charity or to a deserving youngster as I have? Within an hour of my finding it the bins would have been emptied by the bin men. Meanwhile I am imagining so many different stories that could fit the history of the discarded and forsaken ‘Marie Celeste of a tent.

If my chum Lee had been a Major instead of a Captain I could have used the title “A Major Incident” and made everyone groan!

Something stinks but that’s nothing new : @JakeTheWriter

This week’s Podcast from retired travel writer, blogger and commentator Jakethewriter is another of his sailor’s yarns provoked by the astonishing downright lies and innuendoes coming from the mouths of those whom wish to remain in the EU, including some from the Prime Minister himself. Jake is old enough to remember the Profumo affair, that was when John Profumo the Minister for War in the Cabinet lied in a statement to the House and was sacked. It is now looking that Davis Cameron may also have lied to the House and we wait to see the outcome. With ex-members of the Secret Service being involved on both sides of the Referendum debate, the mix brought back some memories also involving politicians and the funny folk.

Something stinks, but that’s nothing new!

There is a saying on submarines, that if you can smell something nasty and there is no-one standing behind you, mister it’s you!

Lionel “Buster” Crabb Served in the Merchant Navy and when WWII began he was commissioned into the Royal Navy and volunteered for mine and bomb disposal.  He trained as a diver and had an impressive war record receiving numerous commendations including the George Medal and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. 

He left the RN in 1948 and his CV shows him working in the private sector for the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Aldermaston.  He also spent time searching through sunken Spanish Galleons.

He returned to active duty in the RN in 1952 where he is reputed to have spent time searching and investigating sunken submarines.  In 1955 he worked with another frogman (Sydney Knowles), investigating the hull of a Soviet ship, the Sverdlov.  It became later known that he had been recruited by the funny folk at MI6 and was assigned to perform surveillance on another Russian cruiser, the Ordzhonikidze, which supposedly had a propeller of an innovative design, (probably a bit of cold war propaganda).  It was moored in Portsmouth Harbour where it had carried the Soviet Premier Bulganin and Future Premier Khrushchev on a diplomatic mission.  Crabb got as far as inspecting the hull of the cruiser but disappeared and was never seen again.

At this time I was also a frogman stationed HMS Vernon the shore station of the Royal Navy Torpedo and Anti Submarine Branch which trained Clearance Divers and Minehunters.  To say that the crap hit the fan is to put it mildly, all we were told was that one of ours was missing and all available diving teams were carrying out evolutions in Langston Harbour for about two weeks.

This was an unforgettable time for me.  Portsmouth harbour is famous for its thick black mud which is commemorated today with a bronze statue at Portsea Hard of the Pompey Mudlarks the kids who used to dive for coins for centuries.  Somewhat less remembered is that this nasty black slime covers the bottom of Portsmouth Harbour, it is somewhat over a fathom deep, it’s black and it stinks to high heaven.  It is full of centuries of detritus, a mixture of the contents of millions of gash buckets heaved over the side of every ship that has moored there since Tudor times.

Oh my Lord! It wasn’t just the kitchen waste of millions of ships it was also the bodily waste of Billions of sailors and my shipmates and I were feeling our way through this foul slime looking for a dead body.  It wasn’t just MI6 who were in the shit, we were spending some six hours a day groping around in it.  One of our teams gave us a laugh when he related that as he probed through the slime he thought he had found a head and when he brought it to the surface found that he was holding a large head of cabbage that had gone over in the gash.  I think that is called ‘gallows humour’ or as Nietzsche put it ‘any experience that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’.  All I can confirm is that we smelled very strong.

It was about two weeks before that story got into the newspapers and we were pulled out and given a few days leave, sworn to secrecy.  The legend of Buster Crabb, with rumour and speculation goes on even today.  MI6 is supposed to operate outside of Britain, while MI5 operates within the country.  For some reason, Prime Minister Anthony Eden forced the resignation of John Sinclair the Director General of MI6. It took the Suez debacle before Eden resigned through ill health. Now there’s an idea. . . . . . . .

 N. B.  British government documents related to the Buster Crabb incident will not be released until 2057 – I should live so long!

In my recent Podcast I pointed out that nothing changes, conspiracy abounds. To err is human, but it takes a politician to really screw things up. Someone succinctly put it; Cameron has painted himself into a corner and is now trying to walk out over the paint, dragging the rest of us by the hair with him. I must say that his ever increasing scare stories sound nothing more to me than his desperation and I cannot believe that I once thought better of him. Thanks for listening, I’ll see you again next week.


It will probably all come out in the wash : @JakeTheWriter

This week’s Podcast from retired travel writer, blogger and commentator Jakethewriter talking of the scales falling from his eyes.

It will probably all come out in the wash

Could I have become a cynic in my old age? Or could it be that I have a very long memory? Someone once said, it’s not when politician’s lips are moving that they are lying, it’s when they are breathing.  I can remember when I believed the politicians and the British media when they told me that the murderous Jomo Kenyatta and his Kikuyu tribesmen ate babies. Then he became Kenya’s first Prime Minister and then it’s President.  The politicians described him as Kenya’s Founding Father and World Statesman.  I will only mention Nelson Mandela in passing.

My parents both came from the North East and lived through the Depression. My mother was from a mining village in County Durham. They were both tribal Socialists, they could see no wrong in anything that was uttered by a Labour Politician. I used to joke that if a monkey put up for parliament and wore a Labour rosette they would vote for him. Unless it stood in Hartlepool, where I’m told they hang monkeys.

I had a very different upbringing in the Home Counties, educated in a Grammar School and then a bursary to a Public School, all thanks to my parents, which I did by questioning their politics. I have voted Tory in every election since I was old enough.

I listened to David Cameron, who I had voted for and quite liked, a man who just six months ago said that if he didn’t get the substantial reforms that he wanted. He would personally lead the Leave Campaign to leave the European Union. Instead he’s now trying to bully and frighten the people of Great Britain into staying in a rotting, unreformed, anti-democratic super state. What he should have been doing was saying ‘Sorry folks, I did my best but they wouldn’t listen. It’s time to go.

That would have assured him of leaving an honourable legacy. Instead he is coming out with such unbelievable rubbish with his ‘Project Fear’ while he tries to scare us into following him into the corrupt cesspit that is Brussels. Thus condemning our country into decades of rule by arrogant, unaccountable foreign politicians and judges. This ex-Tory says “Not ruddy likely.

You see I once believed the media and the politicians when they told me about those Greek Murderers from EOKA, General Georgios Grivas and his sidekick Archbishop Makarios III in Cyprus. Then with the declaration of Cyprus as an Independent State: Grivas received a hero’s welcome as the liberator of Cyprus and was subsequently decorated with the highest honours by the Greek Parliament and Makarios went from Pious Archbishop to villainous ENOSIS leader and after being deported into exile returned to become president of a new, independent Greek-Turkish Cyprus, retaining British military and naval bases and being feted by both our government and our Queen.

I believed the media and our politicians when they told me about that dreadful man Ian Smith and his racist policies in Rhodesia with his UDI, and the saviour Robert Gabriel Mugabe KCB who changed Rhodesia into Zimbabwe. We all know what history will tell us about that.

I wasn’t quite so gullible when the media and our politicians told me of the atrocities of Northern Ireland. Dependent on whether my loyalties were Green or Orange one could make your mind up whether Martin McGuiness and Gerry Adams were worse or better than Ian Paisley and Johnny Mad Dog Adair. Being Green had a different meaning then.

Then it was First Minister Paisley, Peacemaker Gerry Adams and the Minister for Education, Mr Martin McGuiness; Gerry Adams is on the Presidential Christmas Card list.

You see I can remember my Grandfather telling me about the atrocities of the Black and Tans and when “The Troubles” were at their height so I told my children to wait and see, it will be “World Statesman” McGuiness and even “President “Adams before we know where we are, I can now say “I told you so”.

Can you remember when those murdering scum “The Taliban” were called the “Tribal Elders” when they were killing Russians. I wonder if it will be in my lifetime that a world statesman called Saif al-Adel who was designated by Al Qaeda to replace Osama Bin Laden after his untimely demise, will be sitting around a table at the United Nations with that other man of peace Gerry Adams.

It does go around in the other direction too of course.  Should we remember Blair kow-towing to General Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi or President Bashar al-Assad having an audience with the Queen and a later meeting with Prince Charles.  Before telling Blair that there were no Palestinian terrorists in Syria, only a few “press officers”.  One would have thought that an arch-fraud like Blair would have been able to spot a fellow Liar.

To err is human, but it takes a politician to really screw things up.” Someone succinctly put it; Cameron has painted himself into a corner and is now trying to walk out over the paint, dragging the rest of us by the hair with him. I must say that his ever increasing scare stories sound nothing more to me than his desperation and I cannot believe that I once thought better of him.

Thanks for listening; I’ll speak to you next week.

Pro bono, to upset the Solicitors : @JakeTheWriter

Hello, this is Jakethewriter, nearly retired travel journalist, writer and commentator with today’s Podcast.

This one is pro bono in the hope

that it upsets a lawyer or two

I don’t know about you but I need cheering up, so today there will be no whistle-blowing, no politics well except to suggest that you should give serious consideration to voting in the referendum on June 23rd and if you use your intelligence you will certainly vote to leave the undemocratic and unelected European Union. I will not mention wind farms, or global warming, the BBC, NHS or even Jimmy Savile, who by the way is still dead.  Today there will just be a smile as we look forward a sunny weekend.

I’ve been reading all week about the naughty goings on within Northumbria Police, senior officers, a female lawyer fondly know as ‘sex on legs’, gagging orders, fights, gagging orders lifted and everybody shagging everybody else. Now the court restrictions have been lifted and photos published the story I was going to write a ‘Carry on Constable’ skit but good Lord they must be some really poor sex starved beggars in the Northumbria Force. Have you seen the objects of their desire? Completely spoilt my story.

If Jethro had been relating the tawdry tale he would have said “Christ! I wouldn’t do that with yours” or “I wouldn’t climb over you to get to her!” So as a show of sympathy to Northumberland’s sad lack of good looking females I shall cease taking the Mickey.

Instead I have another story of the legal profession, not that I have anything against the money grubbing low-life, who if they cannot win by ambulance chasing have a tendency to alter the facts. It will be a long time before I forgive those performers in Iraq and the serious damage they have done to our troops. As Shakespeare succinctly put it “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”.

My story goes – A Solicitor parked his brand new Porsche in front of the office to show it off to his colleagues. As he was getting out of the car, a truck came speeding along too close to the kerb and took off the door before zooming off.

More than a little distraught, the Solicitor grabbed his mobile and called the police. Five minutes later, the police arrive . . . . . Before the policeman had a chance to ask any questions, the man started screaming hysterically: “My Porsche, my beautiful silver Porsche is ruined. No matter how long it’s at the panel beaters, it’ll simply never be the same again!”

After the man finally finished his rant, the policeman shook his head in disgust.”I can’t believe how materialistic you bloody Solicitors are.” he said. “You lot are so focused on your possessions that you don’t notice anything else in your life.” “How can you say such a thing at a time like this?” sobbed the Porsche owning solicitor.

The policeman replied: “Didn’t you realise that your arm was torn off when the truck hit you?” The Solicitor looked down in horror. “Freaking Hell!” he screamed. “Where’s my Rolex????”

That’s all for today, thanks for listening. See you next week