In Which I Served.

In Which I Served
Posted on Dec 18th 2018
by irishroverpei

There is something odd about a submarine on which I once served, becoming a museum! It tends to make one think of oneself as old!!!. What???no not me. Seriously if you get a chance to visit the Portsmouth area the submarine Alliance is a must, a worth while tour of this grand old boat will be hugely enjoyable. In the colour photo of the children laying on the main passageway bunks there should be a sign, Ben slept here!!! The middle bunk was mine but alas I had no teddy bear to share it with.
Alliance is clearly not in commission and so officially I should not use the ‘HMS’ prefix. But she looks brand new and ready for sea. She is even flying a Jack and Ensign (in contravention of the rules). But we do this with pride and respect. It looks appropriate and our visitors like it too and that is good enough reason.
The submarine has been dressed internally to represent the style of the decades in which she was in commission (40s, 50s, 60s and 70s). A ‘soundscape’ provides a background of authentic crew and other noises, to make the submarine feel lived in. This, together with the illumination of the instrumentation gives the convincing impression that the boat is ‘alive’. We will need to keep her in good condition for the future. The average annual cost of maintenance is estimated at about £45k; fundraising to pay for this will continue, but I am pleased to say that all refurbishment costs have been met. The Project team did an excellent job.
The work on internal refurbishment completed at the end of February. During March we conducted pre-launch tours for teachers, tourism professionals, disability groups and so on to test out all the facilities. We held the Public Opening on 3 April (a celebration of the Museum and Alliance in Gosport) and the Royal Re-dedication in the presence of HRH The Duke of Cambridge on 12 May. Following his tour of Alliance, HRH was awarded a submarine badge and celebrated this with a tot of rum in full view of all of the guests
Bravo Zulu to the Submarine Museum Staff and Volunteers.
God Bless and keep reading.

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The Faith of a Child!

This story takes place in England in 1945 in the little town of Beaminister. The war was over, however, we were still feeling the effects of rationing and shortages. Sweets and chocolate were still a very rare commodity in the land.

I still firmly believed in Father Christmas, and was about to demonstrate just how strong my faith was. On Christmas Eve I hung my sock at the foot of the bed, hoping to find it filled with all sorts of exciting things the following morning. I awoke around six the next morning; it was still dark outside, and the house was silent. My sock lay bulging with presents at the foot of the bed. I wasn’t supposed to open anything until everyone was up and about. Not wishing to start off the day in trouble, I tried hard to resist looking in my sock.. It was quite impossible to expect a young child to exhibit such patience. I decided to empty my sock onto the bed and guess what each package contained. Afterwards, still unopened, I’d re-pack everything and no one would be the wiser. The theory was good and would have worked, but for one small mistake. Among the presents were a few things not wrapped. It was traditional to have a new penny, an apple, and an orange in the sock. None of these items were wrapped, but were also not tempting enough to be a problem. What really caught my eye was a Mars bar – an irresistible sight! Sweets and chocolates were still rationed, consequently I saw very few and tasted even fewer. Finding myself with one whole bar of chocolate was just too much. It was the first one I’d ever had. Unable to control myself, I knew I had to eat it. Then, it occurred to me that no one would know about it anyway because it was Father Christmas who had left it. I could safely eat the bar as long as I carefully hid the wrapper. I ate the scrumptious chocolate with relish; I was totally committed but equally convinced I was in the clear.
By 7:30 the family was up and we went down stairs to open our presents together. It was a very exciting moment. In front of the fireplace I found a brand new red scooter waiting for me. Wow! It was my first new toy ever; until then, my presents had mostly been handmade from wood. Once we’d opened everything, it was time to look at each other’s gifts, and Lily asked what I’d found in my sock. I told her about everything, but was careful not to mention the missing Mars bar. I was surprised and puzzled when she continued to press, asking what else I’d got. How could she know about the chocolate? It was impossible. I decided to stick to my story, confident that everything would turn out okay, but in so doing I gradually dug myself into a bigger and deeper hole. The consequence of sneaking my early morning chocolate landed me in trouble after all. Fortunately Lily was in a festive mood and the moment passed quickly. It did, however, cause me to rethink my belief in Father Christmas..
God Bless and keep reading ( and Mars Bars are still my favourite.

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A Little Sunday Humour

Newfoundlander Renewing His Passport
John Tucker
St Johns NL
This, apparently is an actual letter received by the Canadian Passport
Office, from an irate Newfoundlander attempting to renew his passport.

Dear Sirs,
I’m in the process of renewing my passport, and still cannot believe this.
How is it that Bell-Alliant has my address and telephone number and knows
that I bought a friggin satellite dish from them back in 1977, and yet, the
Canadian Government is still asking me where I was friggin born and on what date.
For Christ sakes, do you guys do this by hand? My birth date you have on my
pension checks, and it is on all the income tax forms I’ve filed for the
past 30 years. It is on my Health card, my driving license, my car
insurance, on the last eight damn passports I’ve had, on all those stupid
customs declaration forms I’ve had to fill out before being allowed off the
plane over the last 30 years, and all those insufferable census forms.
Would somebody please take note, once and for all, that my mother’s name is
Mary Anne, my father’s name is Robert and I’d be absolutely astounded if
that ever changed between now and when I die!!!!!!
I apologise, I’m really pissed off this morning. Between you an’ me, I’ve
had enough of this bullshit! You send the application to my house, then you
ask me for my bloody address!!!!

What is going on? Do you have a gang of Neanderthal arseholes workin’ there?
Look at my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden? I don’t want to dig up
Yasser Arafat, for shit sakes. I just want to go and park my arse on some
sandy beach somewhere. And would someone please tell me, why would you give
a shit whether I plan on visiting a farm in the next 15 days? If I ever got
the urge to do something weird to a chicken or a goat, believe you me, you’d
be the last friggin people I’d want to tell!
Well, I have to go now, ’cause I have to go to the other end of the friggin
city to get another copy of my birth certificate, to the tune of
$35. Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot to
assist in the issuance of a new passport the same day??
Nooooooooooooo, that’d be too damn easy and maybe make sense. You’d rather
have us running all over the n’ place like chickens with our heads
cut off, then have to find some arsehole to confirm that it’s really me on
the damn picture – you know, the one where we’re not allowed to smile?!
(bureaucratic friggin’ morons) Hey, do you know why we couldn’t smile if we
wanted to? Because we’re totally pissed off!
An Irate Canadian Citizen.
P.S. Remember what I said above about the picture and getting someone to
confirm that it’s me? Well, my family has been in Newfoundland since 1497
and I’ve been a Canadian Citizen since 1949. I have served in the military
for something over 30 years and have had full security clearances over 25 of
those years enabling me to undertake highly secretive missions all over the
world. However, I have to get someone ‘important’ to verify who I am – you
know, someone like my doctor – WHO WAS BORN AND RAISED IN FRIGGIN PAKISTAN.
= God Bless and keep reading

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Classified Cake Recipe (MOD)

Ultra Secret Christmas Cake Recipe (For Your Eyes Only)
Posted on December 14th 2018
by irishroverpei


Ultra Secret Christmas Cake Recipe (From Admiralty Eyes Only File)
Posted on December 12, 2016 by irishroverpei
Submariners Recipe Book (Classified and Ultra Secret) 
1 Cup Butterbirthday 2011 003
1 Cup Sugar
6 Drops Lemon Juice
Some Nuts
4 Large Eggs
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 or 2 Bottles of Whiskey (Black Bush)
Sample the whiskey to check quality.
Select a large mixing bowl.
Check the whiskey again as it must be just right. To ensure the whiskey is top quality, pour 1 large glass and drink fast. Repeat.
With electric mixer, beat 1 cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of thigar and beat again.

Meanwhile check the whiskey is still top quality by crying another tup. Repeat.
Add 2 arg leggs, 2 cups fried druit and beat till high.
Sample whiskey again, checking for tonscististicity.
Next sift 3 cups of salt – or anything, it doesn’t really matter.
Wample the shiskey.
Sift half a pint of lemon juice. Fold in the chopped butter and stained nuts. Add 1 babble-spoon of brown sugar, or whatever colour you can find an wix mell.
Whink remaining driskey.
Grease oven and turn cake into pan to 200 degrees.
Pour everything into coven an bo to ged.
God Bless and Merry Christmas.

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Christmas in Outer Space?????

Remembering Christmas’s from Years gone By.
Posted on December 13th 2018
by irishroverpei

It is at times like this that I miss my two adorable and beautiful daughters and feel sad that they have grown up and moved on. They were always our purpose in life, our reason for living. They have given us so many memories to cherish and fondly enjoy in our old age. Daughters are surely the most wondrous. gift from God
I realize many of you think I’m merely teasing or perhaps attempting to embarrass my young daughters via my blog. However ,you would be wrong, I enjoy retelling stories of both of my young daughters and their misadventures/adventures while growing up. My two girls were the light of my life and still are today, their childhood memories are forever my wondrous and priceless gift. Budge was born in Sudbury and as a baby she was a terrible sleeper, she cried a lot. Linda mentioned this to the doctor and he said she is probably hungry. He went on to explain that young baby’s can become spinal cords when hungry, their brain switches of and they just cry. His suggestion! stick her in a closet with a banana. We went through a lot of bananas after that, but of course the doctor was joking about the closet. Caroline was big into Barbie doll’s in those days and I believe that led my sister to buy Susannah a Barbie doll house for Christmas. Budge was soon to show us her interest in outer space when she turned the Barbie house into a Space Station, maybe it was Moon Base Alpha??? Can’t remember for sure because we regularly travelled into deep space after that with a variety of astronauts such as Capt Kirk, Luke Skywalker, the Borg etc etc. Later she promoted herself to the rank of Major and became Bionic but that will be a story for another day. In the meantime we still keep a supply of bananas on hand in case Budge comes to visit. Caroline never travelled into deep space! she was more into shopping at expensive stores. She liked nice dresses and nice cars!!!!!she likes jewellery and things that usually cost more than Star War toys!!!
God Bless and Happy New Year

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Old English Sayings!

Did You Ever Wonder Where Old English Saying Originated
Posted on 12th December 2018


Did you ever wonder where the old saying such as “Its raining cats and dogs” or One for the road” came from???? if not then read on.
There is an old hotel/Pub in Marble Arch, London which used to have gallows adjacent. Prisoners were taken to the gallows (after a fair trial of course) to be hanged. The horse drawn dray, carting the prisoner was accompanied by an armed guard, who would stop the dray outside the pub and ask the prisoner if he would like ”ONE LAST DRINK”.
If he said YES it was referred to as “ONE FOR THE ROAD”
If he declined, that prisoner was “ON THE WAGON”
They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”.
But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot they “Didn’t have a pot to Piss in” & were the lowest of the low.
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the Bath water!”
Houses had thatched roofs, thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying “It’s raining cats and dogs.”
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, “Dirt Poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold. (Getting quite an education, aren’t you?)
In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: ”Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old”.
Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “Bring home the Bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around talking and ”Chew the fat”.
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning & death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or ”The Upper Crust”.
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of ”Holding a Wake”.
England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, ”Saved by the Bell ” or was considered a ”Dead Ringer”
There now you know and it didn’t take you a fortnight to read!!!
God Bless and keep reading

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A Christmas Story

Merry Christmas
Posted on 11th December 2018

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A Little Christmas Story (photo is my little angel Susannah)
When four of Santa’s elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.
Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more….
When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were
about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out,
Heaven knows where.
Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.
Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.
Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree. The angel said very cheerfully “’Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn’t this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?”
And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.
Time to dig out my Christmas tree and get it decorated then celebrate with cider and a shot of Bush!!!
God Bless and keep reading.

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A Christmas Remembered.

Every year at about this time my memory strays back to that awful Christmas of 1951. I was twelve years and about to turn thirteen a couple of weeks later on 15th January. Today I’m 79 and about to turn eighty in a couple of weeks on 15th January 2019. I have lived through 79 Christmases mostly very happy times. Especially those days when my own children were young and excited, I was excited too. The thrill of coming down the stairs on Christmas morning to see what Santa had left us. Even today I still feel the special anticipation of Christmas morning. However, that Christmas in 1951 remains a single blemish on what should have been a special day. Yet I do not feel regret or anger any more. I see it as the moment in my young life when I made my first important self determination. The moment when I was no longer ruled by fear of punishment or threats. I stood firm, yes I was very scared, but my courage was fueled by my anger. I had reached the point in my life where I would no longer be treated so cruelly by my sister. For the last six years she had destroyed my self esteem and confidence, I had been abused physically, mentally and sexually, the latter by her husband. On that 1951 Christmas day it was all about to end. Please read below a short version of these events, this is an excerpt from my book “Lily & Me”

For the rest of the morning we were left to play with our new toys, books and annuals. Lily and Ben sat in the kitchen talking and keeping an eye on the roast. Just before noon, Lily told me to set the dinner table. I willingly obeyed, knowing we’d soon be pulling Christmas crackers and eating a scrumptious meal. As the clock chimed noon we sat down to eat, first bowing our heads as Ben said grace. We pulled crackers and donned the paper hats. We read aloud our fortunes, then grabbed for the enclosed toys. On my plate was a whole leg, usually only given to adults, and it made me feel grown up.
The dinner was as good as expected, with pudding still to come. It was traditional to put silver in the pudding and Lily always put a sixpence in ours. When the portions were served I hoped I’d be lucky and get the piece with the money in it. I knew I’d lost when Roy yelled in delight, spotting the coin in his dish. As I polished off the remains of my pudding, my thoughts turned to Shirley and our meeting later that afternoon. I was in a happy mood even knowing I had to wash so many dinner dishes before I’d be allowed out. It turned out that everyone helped clear the table and wash the dishes. With the chores complete, I returned to the living room to continue playing with my gifts. I knew tea and cake would be served next, and I couldn’t leave until that was finished.
Moments later, Lily came in with a pot of tea, Ben followed carrying the cake, and cups and saucers were on the tray I had made at school. We each received a good size slice and a cup of tea. My mind was miles away as I sat in front of the fire nibbling cake, It was covered with icing over a marzipan base and decorated in a Christmas theme. Marzipan was something I didn’t like. Hardly even conscious I was doing it I picked the marzipan off and laid it aside on my plate. I was unaware of Lily watching me. The warm and pleasant environment was about to explode around me.
Suddenly, she flew into a rage solely directed at me. ‘Eat your marzipan and stop wasting good food’, she yelled. I was taken by complete surprise, at first not even sure what I was doing wrong.
Gathering my thoughts I said, ‘Mum, you know I don’t like marzipan, it makes me sick’.
‘You’ll eat it,’ she said, ‘or you’ll spend the rest of the day in your room. It’s your choice’.
The warm, cozy feelings of moments earlier were instantly gone. In its place, a rising anger and rebellion dried my throat. I instinctively stood my ground, flatly refusing to eat the marzipan. No matter her reasoning, what she was doing was wrong. This wasn’t some terrible crime I had deliberately committed. I wasn’t refusing to eat vegetables, or take a nasty medicine. Besides, it was Christmas; I would hardly be punished today, of all days, and surely not for such a minor offence. In the rising tension, Ben and Roy remained quiet and motionless, their eyes on the floor. Both probably anticipated what was coming next. The atmosphere in the room had turned icy cold. I hoped Ben would intervene to calm the situation, but he did nothing. No one had the courage to stand up to Lily – no one, that is, but me. Even though my anger was at boiling point, I knew I wouldn’t win. Yet, I remained determined to take anything she dished out. I’d suffer her punishment, but at least do it with dignity. In this way I believed I was actually winning.
I was ordered to go my room immediately, and told not to show my face again until tomorrow. Picking up a book to take with me, I was promptly told to leave it. I wasn’t allowed to take any of my new books upstairs. The cruel malice my sister displayed that Christmas Day left me cold. It was hard to believe this was my own flesh and blood. Whatever her purpose in her role as mother or sister, her behaviour that day was cruel and unnecessary. In the years spent with Lily I’d suffered numerous punishments, some deserved, many not. Yet nothing before had ever left me feeling as I did that sad afternoon. This totally unnecessary incident only served to feed my resentment and hatred, a hatred that would take years to overcome.
I have long since recovered from that terrible moment, yet it never leaves my thoughts. This was the beginning of the end for me playing the role as her son. I decided that day alone in my room I would change my situation and soon. A bold plan was developing in my young mind. I wont tell you more now, enough to say by August 1952 I was back home with my real father and family in Belfast.
God Bless and Merry Christmas

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A Little Sunday HUMOUR?

A Little Sunday HUMOUR


Two elderly ladies had been friends for many decades. Over the years, they had shared all kinds of activities and adventures. Lately, their activities had been limited to meeting a few times a week to play cards. One day, they were playing cards when one looked at the other and said, “Now don’t get mad at me… I know we’ve been friends for a long time but I just can’t think of your name. I’ve thought and thought, but I can’t remember it. Please tell me what your name is.” Her friend glared at her. For at least three minutes she just stared and glared at her. Finally she said, “How soon do you need to Know?”
SENIOR DRIVING As a senior citizen was driving down the motorway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife’s voice urgently warning him, ” Vernon , I just heard on the news that there’s a car going the wrong way on the Trans Canada Highway. Please be careful!” “Hell,” said Vernon , “It’s not just one car. It’s hundreds of them!”
DRIVING Two elderly women were out driving in a large car – both could barely see over the dashboard. As they were cruising along, they came to major crossroad. The stop light was red, but they just went on through. The woman in the passenger seat thought to herself “I must be losing it. I could have sworn we just went through a red light.” After a few more minutes, they came to another major junction and the light was red again. Again, they went right through. The woman in the passenger seat was almost sure that the light had been red but was really concerned that she was losing it. She was getting nervous. At the next junction, sure enough, the light was red and they went on through. So, she turned to the other woman and said, “Mildred, did you know that we just ran through three red lights in a row? You could have killed us both!” Mildred turned to her and said, “Oh! Am I driving?”
God Bless and Drive safe

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Who did they poll???

Another letter to the editor, wonder if they will publish this?????

I find it absolutely ludicrous that we should be expected to believe such an inaccurate poll! I try to tell myself the news we read is unbias, however, a poll recently published on front page of the Guardian ( 6th Dec) stated – poll suggests Greens are ahead, but 97% polled, apparently said, it would not translate into votes. Only 7% said it would.  Sounds like a poll taken at a Liberal Convention!  Hard to believe it was a random poll of islanders, The island Green party has two MLA’s in the house now, and in my opinion , they will certainly increase that number in the next election. In regard to this latest poll I have to agree with what many politicians say, I do not pay attention to polls!

Respectfully Submitted F.Ben Rodgers. Abram Village PE


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