I received a ‘signal’ (email to the rest of us) this morning at 0800 Hrs from my uncle, Admiral Charonblower RN (Retd). It is worth repeating the text in full.
“I see that you are still wasting your life posting nonsense on your blog but, it is… at least, one of your less anti-social vices, and I can tell you, your Aunt, my wife, Major Charonblower (Royal Engineers, Retd), still has not forgiven you for going into the Law instead of joining up when you had the chance to do so. … but, be that as it may… that is not why I am contacting you.
The Major and I were having a pink gin on the quarterdeck at HMS Fearnought the other evening when I came across an article in The Telegraph about this ridiculous business involving one of our gunboats straying into Iranian waters. No idea what ‘Long John Silver’, Second Sea Lord, thought he was doing sanctioning the publication, to the Press, of accounts by ratings of their time in captivity. I know the Service is short of funds and we are about to have our surface fleet halved, but it is quite inconceivable that a man of flag rank could have sanctioned this outrage to raise a bit of cash. Next thing we will see is the Royal Navy following in the footsteps of the RAF and selling chinos, rugger shirts and bikinis…or in our case, bell bottoms, duffle coats and rubber gear….
Anyway…that is by the by… The Major has a problem. Well if truth be told… she has a number of problems. It happened last Sunday…Easter Sunday. As you know… I am not a god-botherer..but the Major likes a bit of C of E and men in Mitres.
Overdid the hospitality afterwards at the Rectory and got picked up by the local Police for speeding. She was breathalysed. Over the limit, apparently. But that isn’t the main issue. The Major, as you know, as a young woman, was an explosives expert – I found this very appealing and, it has to be said, I was attracted to her and we were married… and she is now your Aunt.
The problem is this: The Police found five ‘thunderflashes’ and a couple of hand grenades in the glove compartment of the Bentley… I have no idea why they were there… but there we are. I should also explain that, in addition, the Police found, in the boot : a samurai sword, bolt cutters, a black balaclava and 2000 quid in cash which I asked her to draw from our bankers on the Saturday. She is at Paddington Green in West London and there is talk about the Proceeds of Crime Act, money laundering, firearms offences, a couple of charges under anti-terrorism legislation and assaulting a police officer. I miss her. What do you think we should do about this? Our local solicitor is pretty good on farming law, probate and conveyancing but is a bit out of his depth on this one.
Anyway. Trust you had a good Easter. Do give me a call. No immediate rush… but it would be useful to have the Major back before the Chelsea Flower Show.
PS… The balaclava is mine. Lodge stuff.. you know the sort of thing… and the Major is, as you know, a keen cook and this may explain the sword??”
PPS… Please do not come to Henley this year wearing a Leander tie. In fact… please don’t come to Henley again. Your conduct last year, when you and that other Bar Johnny… can’t remember his name… the chap with Tourettes…. was not impressive. If you wish to water ski…. go on a Mark Warner holiday. The Henley Regatta is not the place to do it.