Never Volunteer for Anything !
Probably one of the first things any sprog entry into the armed forces has drummed into them by the cynical old sweats is : never volunteer of anything. If you happen to be looking for an almanac of barrack room humour of the more gentle kind an excellent and quick way to tune up on the mind set of many squadies, this might prove to be the route.
Naturally over the years it slowly dawns on most of us there are in the main two ways to come unstuck, not only in military lives and careers but in the nitty-gritty of of ordinary hustle and busy of virtually everything humanity is involved. If you wish to make a name for yourself and don't mind a great deal it's precise inflection then by all means volunteer. If not or in doubt as to where such an action as sticking up your hand to answer the latest conundrum might freak you out. Keep stoom.
For many, many years, the later was my philosophy until one day I found to my dismay and fear that I suddenly dreaded the thought of being exposed as one of those who; did not pull his weight and allowed lesser lights to pull my share of the load. Then it was a question of hiding the talents and abilities I felt already possessed away from the promoters and exploiters as I tried to build the confidence required to construct a substantial platform, to defend myself against the smart Alec's and flash Harry's, who would undoubtedly attempt to flush me out from any shelter I might choose to crawl into in any attempt to promote or defend what they would consider the impossible dream.
Slowly though, as the months and years passed it began to become a fact that new ideas and ways to present these ideas that all humanity, that has been to any degree been educated or tutored to; evaluate, what logic, experience and knowledge will teach them gradually pushed my own empirical experience and wisdom to the forefront of the competing potential solutions to solve the maelstrom of chaos that was rapidly engulfing the planet.
The top image gives the impression that I have just volunteered for something but probably misleading. This image was probably taken in the mid- nineteen nineties I would guess. The middle shot since I retired looking very smug. The baby one just goes to show just what you might grow up to what look like if you don't watch out. Probably taken about 1935/36.
The images above were taken in ascending order: Bottom is me, at about the age of twelve or eighteen months in late October or mid- April 1936, Mike Bayman, next the smug middle character is also me taken well after my retirement in our dining room. Probably about 2008. Interesting, at least from me that it almost features my chubby tummy. The top image is Mike the man of action talking from my work place at G. & C ., in Hatton Garden, sometime I would estimate in the late nineties, during my last few weeks at the grind stone,http://michael-ashiel.blogspot.com after some fourteen and a half years out of a total of fifty-one years.