Hi Again Richard,
Amazing what happens when somebody pushes the memory button. Once again
the the memories of that period of time spent in HMS Highflyer.
Ian mentioned the Gecko's and the Mossies. Well I can remember a Gecko
falling onto the ceiling fan which of course was always on. Some wag
then turned the fan on full speed to see just how long it could hold
on. It stayed glued in place and just carried on eating once the experiment
We had adopted a Mongoose and named it Ricky. Any one who had read the
book about Ricky Ticky Tavy would know why. Anyway this animal was a
joy to watch when confronted with any snakes. Unfortunately when we
went to sea we left him with a CPO in the next room and when we arrived
back some weeks later Ricky had gone back to the wild. He, that is the
Mongoose, had been in the habit of sleeping in the fold of sheet at
the foot of the bed occupied by George Brookes, brother of Digger Brookes.
George was quite happy with this arrangement but not so the chap who
inherited his bed who got the shock of his life when a rather hairy
object moved past his feet when he got into bed. Can't print the language
The other beach that we used was at Sunshine Bay. The access to this
really beautiful bay was through a track about ten minutes walk away.
Moonstone was in abundance on the beach, if only we had known the value
of it we could have made a fortune. The water in this bay was quite
deep and I was shown by a native boy how to control my breathing under
water, and by the time we left Trinco I was able to stay under for anything
up to three minutes. As recently as a few months ago I could still swim
the length of an Olympic size pool under water. Not at all bad for a
71 year old.
The other time that I had to go into the water was to recover my Bassoon.
Accidentaly dropped I might add. Didn't do the instrument much good
and I spent hours replacing springs and pads. Staff Bandmaster Graham
Shipway was convinced that I had thrown it in, but it really was an
I must say that my time in Ceylon as it then was, was most enjoyable.
It was the interruption of having to dash off to the Gulf that spoiled
it all. Yes there were problems up that way even in 1956.
I might continue this epistle at some time in the future with a few
more tales of the time spent up in the Gulf region.
Once more Richard Cheers! from Down at the Bottom end.