Pull that foreskin back, trooper; that’s an order.

c2 men in shower

Watched the first episode of Commando Training on iplayer the other day. Found it quite enlightening, but it didn’t do my heart rate much good by seeing all those naked men standing to attention by their bunks. I might have enjoyed it even more if they ‘d have filmed them first thing in the morning – got my smiley face on here. But the only man who didn’t mind his todger being seen was the one in the shower, illustrating to the group how to execute personal hygiene by pulling back his foreskin to wash it thoroughly.

Now, I gave birth to my 3 kids in the 70’s, and my first two were boys and the first thing the midwife told me was to ease back their foreskin: a) to loosen it: b) hygiene and c) to stop any infection thereby avoiding circumcision. I took her advice and at bath-time, when they were old enough, they did it themselves. Even as babies boys can get an erection and it made sense to me that when the penis disappeared under all that skin, germs and bacteria would be trapped to perhaps incubate an infection. But like all things medical, what goes around comes around. It seems the medical profession are forever changing the way they do things and not always for the better. Take midwifery for instance, in the early 80’s the powers that be decided that women, or men, who wanted to train as midwives had to do their general nursing training first, then specialise. It’s now been changed back.

Whilst I was researching my latest novel which should be out in about two weeks time, I found some very interesting information about sex, todgers and foreskin – note the seamless connection. During WW11 the Wehrmacht set up Army controlled brothels to try and stem the rise in Venereal Disease figures. Even though all men were issued with condoms, they didn’t use them, and if they were discovered to have a dose they were quickly posted to the Eastern Front. I found that one young doctor who tried to get treatment for Gonorrhea from one of his colleagues was shipped off forthwith to a field clearing station on the front line near Stalingrad.

I also found during my research that Army operated brothels were in no way instrumental in reducing Venereal Disease figures during the war. Let me tell you why, but you will find a more comprehensive explanation when reading my next novel A LIFE ONCE HAD – another seamless connection. The soldier, upon entering the brothel is firstly checked for VD and lice. He is then told to wash himself in full view of the brothel attendant and if he didn’t pull back his foreskin he would be told to leave. If he stayed he then had to fill in a form telling his name, rank, and number and the name of the Lady who was about to entertain him. He was then given a condom which had to be handed back at the end of the session. But that was not the end of the process. The soldier had to wash again, pulling back his foreskin, then he was given some ointment to spread over his penis. And, finally an intra-urethral swab was taken. Last, but not least, the condom was examined and if it was found it hadn’t been used then both the soldier and the woman were up on a charge: disciplined. But as my character says in my latest book, who are we to moralise and judge?

I note that the second episode of Commando Training is on tonight, so I have set it to record on my bluray box. Well I haven’t, I can’t work the bloody thing. So to all those servicemen out there – or ex-servicemen if you still have one – just remember to take very good care of your weapon and give it a good oil and polish every day.

“We are a great-grandmother.”


grandma on scales        Pat 006

BEFORE A BREW                                   AFTER A BREW

I remember Maggie Thatcher using that cringingly awful phrase once when she told the nation she had become a grandmother for the first time. Well, my great-grandson was born at 10.21p.m. on the 8th July, 2014. It also happened to be my birthday and it was somewhat eclipsed by the impending new arrival who was ten days overdue. But that didn’t bother me, it was the fact I looked so grumpy in that photo I posted on my blog the week before; the one where I was laser tagging. That, then, made me look at my author photograph on Amazon again. I looked just as grumpy. I don’t want to be known as a ‘Grumpy Granny’ so I decided to do something about it.

Hubby, who is a keen photographer of wild-life – that includes me and snapped me once in the buff as I was stepping out of the shower. I just managed to cover both double D’s with my hands before he hit the button – he took the above picture of me in my book-nook, so I am posting this more approachable picture and will replace the one on my author profile.

I also found out that day that I’m no Kiri Te Kanawa either. It was when my 13 year old grandson left the room when I began singing along to a CD my eldest bought me, ‘Great Love Songs of the 60’s – a decade that started when I was just entering my teens.

Oh, what a decade that was; after the baby-boom of the late 40’s early 50’s, there was free love, the pill, ban the bomb, and burning bras. It was a decade where women truly became emancipated. The CD is a timeless classic and they’re all on there: the big O – Roy Orbison to those not as advanced in years as I – along with The Drifters: Eddie Cochrane: The Four Seasons: The Everly Brothers and Elvis.

It did take me back, and I was singing along and throwing a few shapes in the kitchen when my Grandson heard me and shut the door. So I began to sing “It’s my birthday, and I’ll sing if I want to.” Get it? That song by Lesley Gore? 1965? You know, the female singer? NO? Oh, well, she cut a disc – apparently they cut discs in America, we make records. Anyway, it goes, “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.” I know what you’re thinking, cringingly awful lyrics, right? At that he closed the kitchen window and said I could be heard from the bottom of our close.

But, I did have a lovely day and I am now sitting writing this blog listening to songs from the 80’s on the radio. They’re playing Sinead O’Connor at the minute, ‘Nothing Compares’ – another timeless classic.

But nothing could compare with my birthday, and my family are keeping me to the promise I made on facebook, that when great-grandson is one year old, we are going to have a joint jelly-throwing party.

Can’t wait, never been smeared in jelly before – well not that kind of jelly. I’m rather partial to orange, so watch this space.












Armed Forces Day – Nottingham. 28 – 29th June, 2014.



Nottingham’s Armed Forces Day usually takes place on Wollaton Park, a deer park in the centre of our city. The grounds are huge and not only takes in the house, which is now a museum, but an industrial museum, an orangery and a large lake which is situated at the back. When there’s snow on the ground it’s an ideal spot for sledging. Apparently during WW11 American soldiers were billeted in the grounds, under canvas, just before the D Day landings. And at the end of the war the grounds were used as a POW camp for German soldiers.


This was taken looking down from the house. I did not know the two men sitting on the bench, but I was so knackered after walking around that I asked if I could sit down. They obliged and moved to sit either end of the bench like two book-ends. Oh, by the way I’m the one in the middle, looking as though I have a bad case of BO. I had showered that morning and put on my favourite perfume. Chanel No. 5.


Even though these deer were in the next field to the noise of the amusements, they appeared totally non-plussed.


This was the tent of the Army Cadets. Can you spot the two boys under camouflage?

P1070646    P1070648

This Bofors gun was made, under Swedish licence, in Nottingham in 1943 at the old ROF factory where my mother and grandmother worked. It had seen action in the D Day landings and other theatres of war, not only during WW11 but Korea. It ended up on a disused RAF base in Nottinghamshire and was rescued when someone realised its value to our city and its veterans.


 The fly-past was made by a solitary Dakota. I thought it was a spitfire until my eldest told me what it was. Oh, well, can’t be right all the time.


To add to the noise they brought along a Rolls-Royce Meteor plane engine and started it up. It got everyone’s attention alright. Nottingham is renowned for it’s Rolls-Royce engines and if you’ve ever been around Hucknall, where the factory is based, when they are testing, the noise is deafening.


Thought I’d slip this one in of grandson, numero uno, in a US army Jeep with all the paraphernalia. He’ll be dead chuffed with this: sick man.


This is the inside of a Comms Wagon. I was told by a veteran that if the comms expert didn’t earth all the equipment it made the metal box live, thereby, when touched the person would get an electric shock. Those in the know always entered this metal wagon by jumping in and out of it. Officers, who weren’t privy to this information, got the shock of their lives when they tried to enter. How true this is I do not know, but I wouldn’t put it past the little buggers.


Was coerced by my grandson and eldest to partake in a bit of laser tagging for the first time. Never before have I held a weapon in my hands – no carry-on jokes please. You pays your money and you get 2 games. My eldest, ex-forces, immediately struck the pose, down on one knee, weapon tucked tightly into his shoulder and his eye on the scope. Me, I was still trying to find the battlefield. Well, as the rest of my team were running around the field dropping behind the anchored dirigibles, I got hit several times. I was so annihilated that my weapon informed me medical attention was needed. Needless to say evac never arrived but I did live to fight the other game. This time though I stayed put and I became the sniper. It worked. So, if Helen Mirren is too busy to make RED 3 then I’m available. I come cheap – and don’t even go there.


Towards the end of the day I met Sean Connolly, he’s the one in the middle with the beret. He was manning a stall with his brother Billy – yes, Billy. Sean had just had another book published called ‘Gunners and Grenades’ the latest in his BOAR – British Army On the Rampage- series. I bought one of his books and we got talking about writing. After swapping email addresses he asked for a photograph. I obliged – I’m the one in the red gilet by the way – and he kindly sent me the photograph.  In his last email he said through his book sales that day he had contributed £500 to the British Legion.  Well done Sean.


Last but not least, a view of our lovely Wollaton Park. I think the solitary soldier thought, ‘sod this for a game of soldiers, I’m going home.’

PS: My front tooth is still intact and my week, which started out shite, ended, as it started, happy. And being in a generous mood I will give a mention of my two favourite SP authors. Oliver – Tidy, that is, and Jo – Josef Black, that is. Just remember gents, I am fickle, so you’d better keep me entertained.



Sing along; I can’t hear you at the back.

Books four

I came across the blog of H.G. Robert this morning and it was fantastic. It was the title that stuck in my brain – ‘So, you’re a writer’.

I simply couldn’t get Shania Twain’s song out of my head, so I wrote a new verse. Here it is:

          Okay, so you’re a writer.

          That don’t impress a lot. 

          So, you got the pen, but have you got the plot.

          Don’t get me wrong, yeah, I think you’re alright,

          But got nothing to read in the middle of the night.

          That don’t impress a lot. 

Does that impress you much? Okay, I’ll quit the song-writing and stick to prose.