Although I have now escaped from boot camp, I still get regular updates from my fellow Gladiators.
And an important and interesting development has occurred
Jeff Stewart, yes, THE Jeff Stewart.
The very man who attended boot camp just the once, got half way up The Old Man of Coniston, only to find it was too cold and turned back.
To spend the rest of boot camp tucked up cosily in his bed.
He has come for a second outing.
Yes the same man who said on his way back down Coniston he met a very attractive woman coming the opposite way, on a track just wide enough for one person, and he didn’t know whether to toss himself off or block her passage.
The same man who strolling around the garden playing croquet, announced, ’Once the vicar’s wife gets a firm grip on the shaft, no man’s balls are safe’
He has returned.
For those who do not know, Jeff is an English version of Frasier Crane, and in true Jeff fashion, turned up in all the wrong gear.
Lacking the proper hiking or gym wear, he came in his tennis whites, and set off on the morning walk.
Soon, however, Jeff was lagging far behind, head lolling like those toy dogs in the back of a car.
The noble Gladiators at boot camp waited gallantly in the aptly-named Brief Encounter tea house in Carnforth for Jeff to catch up.
Whilst waiting, the troop decided to have breakfast, and of course, upholding the strict regime of boot camp, by having a Spartan Breakfast. Not so Jeff who ordered the not so Spartan full English fry up upon arrival.
Then scrounged the bus fare back to the house.
Later that same day, whilst the rest of the bootcampers where busy in the gym, Jeff was laying in bed recovering from his morning ordeal.
Soon, the sweet aroma of the roast beef slowly cooking in the oven filled Jeff with the sudden urge to eat.
So duly he took out the beef, sliced up and tucked in, then slapped the remainder in between bits of bread to make sandwiches for his train ride home, later that day, first class of course, no doubt accompanied by a bottle of Claret.
So as Jeff wafted back to London, tucking into beef sandwiches, his fellow comrades, who had waited for him in Carnforth, found only a bone, and had vegetables for dinner that night.
Not only that – he also took a souvenir Boot Camp 2016 tee-shirt, the last one left, so Wing commander Rawlings, who led by example all week, didn’t get one.