At a loss as to how best I could amuse myself this eve of the New Year, I thought it may be interesting to re-take France for our Nation and report events as they unfolded on TWITTER.
The Scene. A fleet of ships of war and ships of the line, lying at Portsmouth, provisioned and victualled. The young Captain Hornblower realises that he is the commander of the ship bearing the flag of Admiral Charon, a Vice-Admiral of the Red… naturally. Admiral Charon is on board and despite the construction of the ship being 1802, it has wi-fi and a superfast broadband connection. Charon has a large cigar and a glass of red to hand. He is announcing his unsolicited and wholly unauthorised personal invasion of La France. The report includes combatants on both sides who were responding to Charon’s reports on Twitter. Occasionally, Charon would send a tweet to a friendly follower.
The story starts here…. the raportage is a transcript of events as they unfolded and reported by Charon on Twitter tonight….
Shortly before 19.00 GMT: OK… helmets on…. I have a large cigar. I am prepared. I’m a one star general now… by 12.00 I’ll make five stars. That is all.
18.55 GMT: @Infobunny Brigadier Charon here… are you ready…. bayonets… they don’t like steel up ’em.
The story unfolded as follows… it was, you understand, the heat of battle and reports are transcribed events as reported on Twitter tonight….
Neil_MacKinnon @charonqc You’ve demoted yourself?
Charon: Brigadier General…. just to start proceedings…. I’ll be Lt Gen soon…. count on it.
Neil_MacKinnon @charonqc Maybe you should be a rear admiral?
stupidgirl_no1 @Charonqc do I get a formal position? Or should I listen to Al Murray and assume I’m just a nurse or secretary as I’m female?
Charon: @Neil_MacKinnon Navy you say?…. Good plan…. a bit of rum… sodomy and the lash… just what we all need as Churchill once said.
Charon: @stupidgirl_no1 You can give yourself any rank you like… but not Admiral…. yet…. work up to Admiral like I did.
Charon At the suggestion of @Neil_MacKinnon I have changed my hat and rank … a bit of rum etc etc…. Admiral of The Red… naturally.
Charon: As my famous predecessor Admiral Lord Nelson said ” Desperate affairs require desperate measures. ” We are ready to do our duty
Neil_MacKinnon Yaaar. Beat to Arms!!!
Charon: Splice the mainbrace……. 4 minutes and counting… and we sail for FRANCE again… England expects that every man will do his duty.
Geeklawyer bloody hell. This pheasant has shotgun pellets in it dammit.
Charon: @Geeklawyer Pheasant… pellets? Not good enough, man. A bird like that needs the cannon of a ship of war. Run out the guns, Mr Hornblower
19.00 hrs GMT, 2008
Charonqc: We sail…. make for Calais Bos’n…. set the mainsail and bring me a tot of rum, if you please. We’re off… !!!
Charon: I have only one eye, I have a right to be blind sometimes.. I really do not see the signal! Keep an eye on that bottle, Captain Hornblower.
Neil_MacKinnon @charonqc Can I be Mr Christian?
Charonqc @Neil_MacKinnon Goddamit man…. I’m not Bligh…. You shall have to be my old mate Admiral Villeneuve
Charonqc I see a Frenchie to port…. a cross channel ferry. Sink it, if you please Master at Arms
stupidgirl_no1 @Charonqc Do you have a lovely eye patch like a pirate?! Very rakish!
Charonqc I see a Frenchie to port…. a cross channel ferry. Sink it, if you please Master at Arms.
stupidgirl_no1 @Charonqc should we not board before sinking and steal all their cheap booze? French plonk is rather drinkable
Charonqc: It is warm work; and this day may be the last to any of us at a moment. But mark you! I would not be elsewhere this night than on Twitter.
Charonqc: Let me alone: I have yet my legs and one arm. Tell the surgeon to make haste. I must lose my right arm, so the sooner it’s off the better.
Neil_MacKinnon: Kiss me Hardy
Charonqc @Neil_MacKinnon It is a bit early for the kiss me quick hats, Villeneuve…. I see another Frenchie…. Clear the decks!!! Bring me my bow of burning gold.
Charonqc: I see Prize aboard that ship… Wine, onions, Hermes scarves and Carla Bruni videos. We shall board and take her for our Queen.
Neil_MacKinnon Changing for tonight involved taking off a shirt and putting on a bright pink polo shirt – et voila!
Charonqc @Neil_MacKinnon Trust a Frenchie to choose a pink polo shirt… but as we say in London… chacun a son gout
stupidgirl_no1 @Charonqc bagsy a scarf!! And if there are some pretty shoes to match
Charonqc Our enemies are resourceful. They lose no time in thinking of ways to harm our nation… and neither shall I….. Thank you, Mr Hornblower… This is good news. Signal the fleet. *There are no U-boats out tonight*.
stupidgirl_no1 @Charonqc I hear gun fire…oh no, its fireworks
Charonqc @stupidgirl_no1 You hear gunfire? Trouble not.. I have ordered a broadside on that ridiculous nouveau riche yacht on the starboard quarter.
Charonqc Viking, North Utsire, Humber, German Bight, Lundy and Fastnet….north veering north-east, three or less…… low Finistere
Charonqc Captain’s Log 31st December. WE sail to France to re-take it for ourselves. maybe then I’ll get a knighthood?
Neil_MacKinnon Liberté, égalité, fraternité!
erikmagraken @Charonqc How many stars does the general have now?
Charonqc @erikmagraken I am now a Vice Admiral. Do you like my hat? I am on a ship of war making for Calais. I do not have my passport.
Neil_MacKinnon Dogger bank? tee hee
Neil_MacKinnon @charonqc Vous avez le cervau d’un sandwich au fromage, rosbif!
Charonqc @Neil_MacKinnon Villeneuve…. le fromage et les singes … est que ce que vous dites?
Neil_MacKinnon @charonqc Les Singes?! ha ha. Oui, quoi d’autre?
Neil_MacKinnon La Nation, la Loi, le Roi!
Charonqc It seems the French want to *parler*… avec moi! C’est bon…Mr Hornblower… present my compliments to Admiral Sarkozy and tell the Frenchies… tell ’em their Eiffel Tower fireworks must not be better than ours in London.
Charonqc I am pleased to report that the Frenchies have struck their colours and are taking me to dinner in Paris. And that is how we re-took France for our Nation.
I leave you now… to continue my raportage of New Year’s Eve, in another guise, with my favourite quote from Admiral Lord Nelson…
“I could not tread these perilous paths in safety, if I did not keep a saving sense of humor.”
[It may be, of course, that this holiday period has been rather a long one and the vino is doing the business.]