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Me and My 'Cardiff High School for Boys' site
My Postcards Page
My Life in Pictures: The first 30 years
My Cardiff High School Reports
My Postcards Page
" I've been everywhere, man! "
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In my nine years in the merchant navy, I must have sent dozens of postcards home from all the exotic (and some not so exotic!) places I visited. Unfortunately, most of them ended up in the dustbin, but here's a few (10) I rescued recently when I found them in my Mum's drawer. It gives you, I think, a small taste of my merchant navy life - the best years of my life! All this, and money too! You couldn't beat it!


Two glorious unforgettable weeks in sunny Mauritius, with nothing else to do but go sightseeing or lounge on the beach during the day, and in the evenings, down the 'Golden Moon' night club/dance hall, drinking and dancing with the 'dusky maidens'. At midnight, when the place closed, arm-in-arm in the moonlight with some recently acquired female company, we'd hail a taxi and.............. (followed by a discreet visit to the 'pox' clinic when I got back home to the UK!)

On this ship, I wasn't back before Christmas. They made me do another one, 'cos no one wanted to spend Christmas away (neither did I, but I'd already signed up - theoretically for 12 months in fact - so I really didn't have a choice!) Boy, that last trip was ROUGH! I bet you can't remember what you had for Christmas dinner 1973. I can. ONE PIECE OF DRY BREAD!! That's all I could keep down. North Atlantic in winter is no joke! And as for the trip back, well, sailing down the St Lawrence in January in a small (3500 tonne) cargo boat built to navigate the Manchester Ship Canal is not for the faint hearted. We nearly got frozen in for the winter! Needless to say, I didn't do any nude sunbathing on that trip!

When we got to Istanbul, me and the third mate spent almost a whole morning walking around there trying to find 'The Street of a Thousand...........'. I kid you not! We were that na´ve!

The 'fat one' is a ref to one of my little sisters at the time. She was not amused! (I'm always putting my foot in it, as some of you know!)
While we were here, a couple of the lads went to the Hiroshima museum nearby the original bomb site. They came back very subdued and deeply moved. To think that the perpetrators of the only two occasions when nuclear weapons were ever used in anger now set themselves up as the world's moral policemen. What hypocrisy, but then the Yanks never did have a sense of irony, did they!
Catch the incisive weather forecast here!
Oh, it was a hard life in the Merchant Navy in the 1970s!
The Brisbane ref is where my Uncle Ken lived at the time, the one who had all that skin removed from his back.
Three weeks in Singapore, all found. Now how much would that cost you if you went as a tourist! They actually paid me for this!
The green chute, that is. And it was terrifying too! You flew through the air with the momentum of your own body and landed, if you were lucky, half way down the chute. And if you were unlucky, you slipped off and fell to the ground! Not nice! I only went down it the once. Never again! I began to feel old that day. I left it to a couple of little Chinese boys - couldn't have been more than six years old - who were having a great time going down it again and again all that day.
I've since been told that the 'Big Splash' was closed down some years ago now, because of the number of accidents there. I'm not suprised!
Singapore. What a place. The last great city-state on earth. While I was there this time, they hanged two guys in Changi Prison for having a couple of pep-pills in their car! They take drug smuggling very seriously out there, as they do crime in general. Twelve strokes of a very heavy rattan cane is a mandatory  additional punishment for any crime involving violence, and it ain't like having 'six of the best' from the 'Wiz' (as the deputy headmaster of Cardiff High School, Dr Williams, was affectionately known) either. It's on your bare arse, for a start, and you should see the size of the cane! Bloody Nora! More like a club.

Notice the date here. Just before the Falklands War. Actually, the Argentinians are just about the nicest people you could ever wish to meet, and the subsequent war broke my heart, especially the way they were demonised by the Murdock press, especially 'The Sun'.  All those lives lost, just to keep Mrs Thatcher in power! We'll never learn, will we!
Well, that's the end of my postcards. I hope you enjoyed looking at and reading them. I sent dozens more, but they ended up in the dustbin. Pity none of the ones I sent from New Zealand and the various Pacific islands I visited were kept. Ah, well. Maybe another time!
Now come on, admit it! Wasn't this the bestest job in the whole wide world! Wish I was still doing it!!!!!!!!