Monday, April 24, 2006

The Breton Undertaking (The Escape)

So Plynkes and Sickly fled, and made their way to the rendevous. Enough intelligence had been gathered to persuade the Admiralty to act. Unfortunately, the French weren't so keen to let them go, and the epsiode ended with a swift sea-fight.


Just as they were sitting down to enjoy some of Preserved Killick's delicious cheese on toast, too! I'll say one thing for that fellow Linois, he's a damn persistant blighter! But thanks to those Hearts of Oak, the Jolly Jack Tars, we came away safe.
Thus ends the report on the trip to Bretagne.
Commander C.S. Plynkes and Sickly Eldritch Esq., HMS Befuddled, The Brest Blockade, Near France. April 1813.
*
Les Cartes Postales
Well, being a fan of postcards, I bought a whole bunch, and would have sent scores of them all around the globe to my various chums, acquaintances, and sworn enemies, too. But I left out of my accounting the fact that I'm a lazy dog, and a low-down good-for-nothing waister. Also I don't know the addresses of half the people I'd like to send to, and don't much want to send cards to those I have the addresses of.
So here's the thing: If you know me, either in real life (whatever that is), or on TMP, then chances are that I might have sent you a card, if I wasn't so idle. So just pick the one you like best from the options below, and that's probably the one you would have got.
So whether you be from Mother London; Scottish Texas; deepest Pennsylvania; (Everything's better in..) Maryland; the wild untamed Marches of Wales; the Pirate Havens of New Holland; the West Midlands Balti Country; dry and dusty Luxor, Egypt; or even just the WWI Product Reviews Board; then these just may be for you:
*

*

*


*


*


*


*


*


*


*

Oh, and the text of the card would probably have gone something like this:

Having a lovely time. Got plastered on the boat. Sickly drew a gigantic winkie in the sand. Love and hugs, Plynkes.

and:

What would Guru Nanak think? Regards, Sickly.

***

The Breton Undertaking (Part Three)




It was on the third day that Plynkes and Sickly made their most disturbing discovery. The French had built a twice-life-size replica of Saint Michael's Mount! This could only mean one thing: They were planning an invasion of Cornwall, and the replica was being used to rehearse the assault!
*

Sickly attempts to infiltrate the enemy installation by posing as a Japanese (or possibly Canadian?) tourist.

(Seriously, I've never seen so many Japanese people.)

*


Pretty good, eh? And all made from match-sticks. Must've taken them years.

*

Sickly carefully approached the Abbey, and found it to be identical to its Cornish counterpart. Apart from the fact that it was completely different in almost every way.

*


The peaceful Cloister. Very relaxing. Hard by could be heard the most wonderful singing from the church, while the priests did their crazy Catholic thing with the incense and chucking water everywhere. What's that all about then, eh? Completely baffling, yet wonderful, too. And the singing. Absolutely sublime. Fair carried one's soul away with it.

*


Suddenly the calm was shattered. Somewhat unwisely, Sickly had taken it upon himself to bait the local Papists with his one-man "Last Supper" Comedy Spectacular. Displeased at their Saviour being mocked in such a way, the locals were enraged. A riot ensued. It was time to get out. And Fast.

*

What would Guru Nanak think, Sickly? Eh?

*

The Breton Undertaking (Part Two)

The second day brought Plynkes and Sickly to St. Malo, the fabled City of the Corsairs. They rented a quaint local fishing boat and made a trip around the bay, posing as the famous ornithologists Spit and Swallow, while carefully making notes of the town's defences:

Ah, some sorta fort, it would appear. This doesn't look good.

*


This picture couldn't be resisted, though it wasn't strictly within the remit of their mission. It's just that this one never stops being funny. And that French fellow thinks he looks so dignified!

*


A rather splendid tower, don't you think? Alas, it is no doubt crammed with scheming Frenchmen, all wishing harm to Albion!

*

Yet another fort, a floating one this time. Is there no end to their perfidy?

*


A Martello Tower, it would seem. Or possibly some kind of Vauban-ish affair. You know, Plynkes really ought to pay more attention at those briefings...

*


Another view of the same, this time showing some battle damage, done by the punt gun on Plynkes and Sickly's boat. There was a challenge from one of the sentries, some hasty and quickly regretted words about Patrick Viera, and then a brief action, it must unfortunately be reported. Our heroes fled the scene, but had the satisfaction of knocking the Frenchman's hat off. Score one to King George!

*


L'ile de C├ęzembre. Supposedly the spot where the US Army first used Napalm in anger (I ain't saying that's a fact, it's just what I heard). When Plynkes travelled there in his youth during the peace, one could wander at will among the battered and broken German bunkers and emplacements, and gather memorabilia to sell to American tourists. Nowadays visitors are restricted to the restaurant and the beach, so Plynkes and Sickly didn't bother to land there.

*

With the worrying intelligence about the new French defences gathered, Plynkes and Sickly proceeded to their next destination.

***

Like a drum my heart was beating,

And your kiss was sweet as wine.

But the joys of love are fleeting

For Pierrot and Columbine.

***

The Breton Undertaking (Part One)


So it was that Plynkes and his Indian manservant, Sickly, slipped ashore under cover of a heavy fog and a Stade Rennais vs Olympique de Marseille footy match. Plynkes' orders were to investigate rumours that the French were planning to break the Entente Cordiale and launch an attack on the English coast, and to make detailed plans of all French installations on the Breton coast, in case a pre-emptive strike was in order.

On arrival Carlos and Sickly decided to investigate the imposing edifice of Fort La Latte.

But first to introduce Sickly. Well obviously that ain't his regular name, which is something unpronouncable in Hindoostani or possibly the savage tongue of the Punjab, but he answers to Sickly well enough, and don't seem to hold no objections to it. He has a fair command of English, and even has his own catchphrase, which ain't bad going for one his age. It is "What would Guru Nanak think?", which he generally says whenever Plynkes asks him to do anything.

But that's by-the-by. Back to Fort La Latte. Here's what we found:

Built in 1958, for the motion picture "The Vikings" with Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis, it seems that Fort La Latte has had its defences strengthened and updated, possibly in preparation for the coming war. This is somewhat troubling.

(Don't worry, it ain't the fort that's listing to port, it's the photographer.)

*

Plynkes and Sickly crept past the guards and reached the imposing main tower.

*

Within they found this poor chap languishing in an Oubliette, with naught but a bowl of Coco Pops for nourishment. It was surely Higginbottom, the first man the Admiralty sent on this mission! How they wished they could have aided him, but the needs of the Service must come first, so they crept away, sniggering.

(I'm sure I once knew what an Oubliette is, but I seem to have forgotten.)

*

The view from the top of the tower. So bracing!

*

An interesting flag, don't you think? What it signifies we ain't sure, but it's the pattern in the top left corner of the Breton flag, if that's any help.

*

By my sweet Crikey! Them big guns are pointed straight at dear old England! We must get this picture back to the Admiralty at once! At once I say!

(Sickly shown in picture for purposes of scale. But best bear in mind that he's quite small for his age, mainly on account of Plynkes' regular habit of purloining his grub allowance to purchase gawdy trinkets for the lovely Mercedes of Port Mahon.)

Ah, sweet, sweet Mercy! Such a dear and lovely child. Skin kissed by the Minorcan sun and plump in all the right spots, if you get me...

*

Back on top of the tower and Plynkes and Sickly re-enact the final scene from "The Vikings", in the exact spot where it happened all those years ago. Only without the swords, as they forgot to bring any. Carlos stands in for Einar, and Sickly for Eric . Or maybe it was the other way around. You decide. Which one looks more like Tony Curtis?

(Either that or they are having a slight disagreement about a restaurant bill.)

***

Fare thee well cold winter, and fare thee well cold frost.

For nothing have I gained, but my own true love I've lost.

***

Monday, April 10, 2006

A New Start


Tired of the annoying format of my other site, I have decided to start a new one. That whole "scroll bar within a scroll bar" template really sucked. But it was the only template that was half-way decent, and I lack the knowledge for the ones that require anything approaching computer skills. Hope this works out a bit better. Nuthin' to say as yet, I'm just kinda testing things out.

That's Doodlebug, not Huggy Bear, by the way.