April 18th. the twins birthday ..Happy Birthday 生日快樂 shēng rì kuài lè
Saturday, April 17, 2010
This news headline sparked a few memories .. my first up close and in person encounter with NAAFI tea was when stationed at RAF West Raynham, Bomber Command and home to the Bloodhound Guided Missile. (long since closed) A desolate location if ever there was one .. a very long walk to the nearest Pub .. there in lies many stories .. but I digress
For nearly 90 years it has been the exclusive brew of Britain’s armed forces.
But from today civilians will be able to enjoy a cup of NAAFI tea as it goes on sale in stores across Britain. NAAFI, the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes, has agreed to allow the coveted beverage to be sold in branches of Spar, the convenience store.
The move is the first time in NAAFI’s history that one of its brands has been extended to a high street retailer.
Its NAAFI Break tea, which has been served to British service personnel since 1921, is said to differ from the average cuppa due to its “premium quality blend that gives a rich, strong taste and a real military flavour”.
It will be available from 80 branches of the supermarket chain and 50p from every box will be donated to the charity Help for Heroes, which helps injured service personnel.
The tea will feature retro-style packaging and will be followed later in the year by a range of memorabilia to mark the 90th anniversary of NAAFI.
NAAFI chief executive Reg Curtis said: "Our famous NAAFI tea has been the beverage of choice for the British Armed Forces since 1921 and we are delighted to work with Spar to ensure it is widely available for everyone to enjoy for the first time in our history."
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
At the onset of WWII, my Dad and a few friends went to “Sign Up” as an alternate to waiting for the inevitable “Call Up Papers”. As voluntary registrants one had the opportunity to choose between: the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.
My Dad and his friend Chalky had a “cunning plan” they would select the NAAFI. Great plan, get into the supply chain, life is good! Chalky (nickname, last name of “White”) was hopeless at spelling .. ended up putting down: “Navy” as his elective. Dad a bright scholar got it in one: NAAFI, Bob’s your uncle.
Chalky, ended up with a “Home Posting” as a sentry at Greenock shipyards only a few miles from home in Hamilton, spending WWII sleeping in his own bed, eating Mum’s home Cooking.
My Dad: sand, bloody sand and more sand, slogged all through the North African campaign. (he never had a good word for: Monty) He spent a few months in Cairo, where the Slade Club was commandeered as an NCO’s mess. An ideal place for a young entrepreneurial lad. Bartering Whisky for all forms of trade items. Let’s just leave it at that.
I’m lucky to have been able to listen to my Dad, and various family members, recount endless tails from their WWII exploits. Interesting that the “Bad Stuff” was seldom or ever discussed. My Dad’s stories from this time as; Staff Sergeant and manager of the Slade Club / NCO’s mess were particularly colourfull, much to the annoyance of my Mum.