Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Stroppy & Crabbit, Tomatoes and Tight Briefs


Once a year in February, the SAS gathers in a secret location to exchange tips on how to storm bastions, rescue colleagues and generally improve chances of world domination. The location is so secret that, although this year it was held near Peterborough, it was referred to in code as "Coventry."

Don't let that deceive you into thinking that meant no-one could be talked to. On the contrary, There were people there like "Stroppy Author" and "Crabbit old bat", so code-named after their blogs, who were much talked to and about; I even saw them talking to each other. It was obviously top secret stuff, since I heard the word "agent" said a few times. There's also a rumour that the Crabbit one has been awarded some sort of medal for outstanding service and grace under fire.

Stroppy & Crabbit sound like lawyers but don't be deceived; still, you'd always want them on your side. (There was a lawyer there - one who knew something about pirates).


I'm not allowed to show you the one photo I managed to take between sessions, meals and quaffing. But I can show you a picture of me with my camera, which sort of proves I was there, wherever there was.

Photo by Keren David
I also have a cup of coffee, which is one reason I have taken off my balaclava and am looking so happy. But in the interests of fairness, I've told you that Keren David was there too, because she took the photo. (Clearly that's a pseudonym).

There was also a veteran from the SAS's very beginning - a founder member - who talked darkly of murder notebooks and dead time. And the Scribble Central Citizen, who had been taming beasts in America and feeding beastly pirates to the Crow, or something.

There was pirate connection to another operative, known as Swords and Sandals, because of his gladiatorial fitness and physique.  And others too numerous to mention.

It's no good having a secret location, secret agents and code names without a secret weapon; I can now reveal what it was - an item worthy of Q:


I'm not going to tell you what it does. But be afraid, be very afraid: it ticks! What I can tell you is that since the weekend it has become the weapon of choice for SAS members. I have received many enthusiastic, even evangelical reports on its efficacy.

There were murmurings about "Lakeland" which were obviously designed to confuse the enemy; it's an operational pseudonym for a whole heap of tactics.

There was also considerable mention of "Tickle" which must be another such code word.

One of the Balaclava brigade was clearly on a recruiting mission - let's call her the WP operative. There was mention of large sums of money available to those willing to adopt "tight briefs." Now, that sounded rather uncomfortable to me but several members seemed interested.

By the time balaclavas had been re-donned, plans were already being hatched for next year's conference.  Operatives CJ and PL will be in charge. I can't wait.

14 comments:

catdownunder said...

I understant that there were also training sesssions in how to garotte cheese and drown wine. Obviously it is a very serious business.

karen ball said...

I think you'd look lovely in some tight briefs, Mary! It was a truly great conference.

bookwitch said...

That photo proves nothing, you know.

Nicola Morgan said...

Lovely post. I wasn't there, of course. Oh no. *peers from balaclava*

adele said...

Lovely account! tee hee. I think I will eschew the Pretty Tomato thingie, though. Can't bear the thought of that ticking. On the other hand it'll do nicely for timing cakes so maybe...

kathryn evans said...

Sounds fantastic - my weapon of Choice is a Chicken , not a tomatoe but just as deadly...

Miriam Halahmy said...

Please treat this entire message as code. LOVED the post and absolutely DELIGHTED that the Book Maven is blogging, posting, commenting and generally doing a Bletchley still. (Put that in your pipe and smoke it.) ( *makes Trekkie sign with both hands and most fingers.)

Stroppy Author said...

Goodness, I think I should stay undercover and deny being there, but I see Crabbit is out of the closet (or the balaclava). Fab post, fab weekend, lovely to see everyone and plot the downfall of the enemy.

Katherine Langrish said...

I'm delighted Operation Balaclava went so well, but glad I wasn't there as I would've been the fifth column & brought the whole thing crashing down with biological weaponry - flu...

Liz Kessler said...

Brilliant post! So gutted that I couldn't make 'Coventry' this year, but it's great to be reading all these lovely blogs about it, and am delighted that Operation Peterborough was such a success.

xx

Linda Strachan said...

Great post, Mary, sounds like it was brilliant, if secretive affair.
I did wave my balaclava at you all on Saturday morning as I passed by, on the train home from London.
Maybe next year!

malrostan said...

Great post, Mary - though it makes me even more disappointed that I wasn't there (in disguise and under a pseudonym, of course).

Jenny Alexander said...

Yes, it was great to be on manoeuvres in 'Coventry'with Stroppy, Crabbit and the rest - excellent quarters, decent rations, effective teamwork... I salute you, SAS!

Caroline Green said...

This blog will self destruct in ten seconds. Nine, eight.....