I saw this in the 'paper the other day.

"It's official: Commuting to work makes you miserable (and spending more than half an hour on a bus is the worst way to travel)
Commuters have lower life satisfaction and lower levels of happiness
Also suffer from higher levels of anxiety from struggling to work
Worst effects on well-being suffered from 60-90 minute commute
But a bus ride of 30minutes or more is the worst combination"

What's that about? They should be grateful they've got a job and the means to get to it. When I first started out in life it was a forty minute bus ride to work. It was great. I could read the newspaper and have a smoke. When I got to work it was only an hour until first tea break. What's not to like?

In the army the REME used to come 'round and service our little tankettes. I could put on my coveralls and pitch in. All my troopers used to join in for their own vehicles. That way they'd know how the things worked. I didn't mind getting up in the middle of the night to go on exercise as the sun was coming up..........I love the smell of hot tank in the morning.......:)

Hang on. I've go this 'copy and paste' somewhere from a comment I once made back on Multiply.......Just take a minute.......Ja, here we go.

edit delete reply
bernardv wrote today at 2:15 PM, edited today at 7:34 PM
I was trying to have a little nap a few afternoons ago at my PC but, Babycat was dancing around on my lap and making it difficult. I sat there head in hand and tried to think of the best place I'd ever slept and, you know what? It was in a bivvy.

There are lots of different types of bivvy (they're remarkably diverse) but, the ones we were issued with were made of a piece of weatherproof material over nine feet long and something over seven feet wide. British army green. There are no vertical struts such as you'd have in a tent, just some aluminium framing to hold it up and, no end flaps. There's a groundsheet that you clip to the inside edges in case of runoff in bad weather. You can make the ends up to a little over two feet high down to about twelve inches.

Every six or seven weeks we'd take the troop out on field exercises which would last six days. There were a number of reasons for this. One trooper would be told off to navigate each day. Not for map reading, any child can calculate navigation points, range and bearing but, it helps to be able to relate what you see on a map with the terrain in front of you. That's a skill that can't be practised enough. And, the shortest place between two NP's isn't neccessarily a straight line. A few trees drawn on a map could be either an impenetrable forest or just a few saplings, you need to look.

It was good exercise too. Going up hill and down dale worked muscles you wouldn't have known you had if you just manked about in the gym all the time. It was one of the few occasions when I carried my SLR. It built cameraderie but, most importantly, it got the men outside and free from boredom. You can't sit around polishing your tank all day.

Dennis and I would set NP's to take us over about fifteen miles a day. Not a large distance but we'd pick the roughest ground we could. A bit of rock climbing or rappelling never goes amiss. That takes teamwork and it's crucial.

Dennis would try to arrange his base sites in a wooded clearing if he could. Not for any crucial reason since we were in friendly territory but, good habits are worth acquiring and it's best to keep the fire where (hopefully) it wouldn't be seen. Two men would be told off to start a fire and cooking while one kept guard. The rest would gather firewood. Somewhere in there we'd set up our bivvies. As I've said, they're open at both ends so you want to set them up sideways to any wind. If the prevailing wind was (for instance) from the north you set up your bivvy from east to west. You'd end up with four on one side of the fire and five on the other in sort of quarter circles. The end facing the fire just over two feet high and about a foot at the other end. Bedroll and blanket ready to go. SLR on the inside and most of the rest of your kit laced into a weatherproof outside.

Then it was time for a hot meal. Since you'd not had anything since breakfast you'd have a ferocious appetite. We had the 1970's version of MRE's which were absolutely vile apart from the occasional sugar coated apple turnover. The rest would go into the pot along with whatever the men had brought along as extras, potato's, veg, stock cubes. A bowl of that with a bottle of brown sauce, lump of bread and you feasted like a king.

Then we could all sit around and wind down. Apart from the poor old guard who was rotated during the night under some system Dennis had thought up. Hot mug of tea, usually with brandy or scotch in it and then the tales would start. Funny stories from the past, the mens home lives if they cared to discuss it, their aspirations for the future. One bloke was pretty good at telling short ghost stories and that was fun. I'd give them about an hour or so and then it was time to settle down.

I don't think it's possible to turn 'round in a bivvy, at least I can't do it. I'd get out and go back in again facing away from the fire. Spare kit in a duffle bag for a pillow and blanket pulled over me. I could rest my head on my arms and watch the moonlight on the trees through the little gap at the end of my bivvy. Occasionally there'd be a little flare of light as guard put a bit more wood on the fire to keep it going until the morning. Heat would come in through the wide end and just a slight breeze through my little peephole. Sometimes you'd get the little pitter patter of a light rain and I found that tremendously soothing. Now and then I'd wake up in the night (I'm a light sleeper) and see the boots of the sentry going by. All was good in the world and I'd fall back to sleep in moments."

Then I was off in civvies to further my education. Money was tight as I had two people to support (my mum and me) and a mortgage to pay. Not to mention the cost of books and materials for my course. And all of that paid for by part time jobs in the evenings and at weekends.

There was a lovely welsh lass that I'd meet in the pub just up the road from the college who'd let me have the crust from her meat and potato pie as she only ate the filling. I've eaten worse things than second hand welsh pie crust, believe me. On the days when I had money I'd get her her very own pie and a pint of bitter.

Then I was off to work at the hospital. I'd start at seven in the morning and finish sometime in the evening. I photographed lots of post mortems which some may find distasteful. As far as I was concerned it was better them than me. I could go home in the evenings and stare at my feral cat. I could even go to the pub which was more than the stiffs could do.

Then I had kiddies. I actually enjoyed bathing them and changing their nappies. Then I'd slap some sort of white grease on their bottoms to stop nappy rash. They'd gurgle and laugh all the time. When I'd given my son his bottle I'd cuddle him until he dropped off to sleep. Sometimes he'd just turn his head toward me and throw up in my shirt pocket. I learnt to keep a clean shirt nearby.

Lucija and I hope to come into a sum of money. When we do we fancy having two cottages built for us down in Cornwall. Not too close to the coast of course considering how fast that's being eroded. They'd be linked by a short passageway. And, of course, adjacent front doors.

And why two cottages and not one you might ask. Well I'll tell you. People need some privacy. We don't want to sit gaping at each other all the time. Lucija might want to write some poems or short stories and I may be on the PC checking out 'RussianBrides.com'. (just joking about the russian brides sweetie........please don't break my fingers)..............:)

Here's a link from Lucijas' web page. There's even a photograph.


It's my opinion that people should be grateful for what they've got and stop bleating about having to drag their sorry butts out of bed in the morning. Soon enough we'll all be in the box and down the hole and that'll stop their complaining.