27th June: Postcard from Armed Forces Day

I write from Chatham in Kent, home to the former Royal Naval Dockyard where HMS Victory was built and many other famous warships.  There is a lot of history on the Medway with Chatham, Rochester and Upnor providing much of interest.

Today, Chatham is hosting Armed Forces Day – a celebration to honour those who serve our country in war.   I overlook one of the old dockyard basins as I write and this was the view I saw as I smoked my cigarettes and did my Smokedo exercises this very morning…

HMS Argyll, a Type 23 ‘Duke’ Class Frigate is moored about 300 yards from my balcony.  I got up early, walked round to take a closer look and had a chat with a couple of officers and one of the armed guards who was manning the gangway.  Visitors are allowed on board.  As with most people, while we may not agree with our government’s decision to go to war in Iraq and, possibly, Afghanistan (The two issues are separate),  I support our armed forces and it was a pleasure to see one of our warships up close and wave as the ship came in yesterday evening.

There are various marches planned, but I shall be out on the balcony later this afternoon watching the Red Arrows display and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight fly past.  Two Eurofighters sped past yesterday and an Apache helicopter hovered nearby.  I shall, of course, raise a glass – it will be a pleasure to do so. I shall also raise a glass to the men and women who are currently fighting a war in Afghanistan.

A short postcard this week… but, be sure, I shall be writing about many things this weekend.

Continuing with the armed forces theme… I really could not resist this. My thanks to fellow Twitter user @helencurry

Best, as ever

Charon

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