For British Eyes Only: There and Back Again

Ahhh, the final For British Eyes Only… It’s been emotional. If I could, I’d cry, but Jacob’s already covered that issue. Plus, I’m not a bender.

Every day, I receive hundreds of emails from well-wishers, supporters, groupies asking the same question: What is the allusion in ‘For British Eyes Only?’. Well, during WWII which the Americans won, the long standing SOE agents and liberating D-Day forces in France would often be required to search the Gallic boutiques for lurking Jerries. In the ‘Period of Nazi Collaboration’ (occasionally called the ‘Occupation of France’), the frogs’ lust for their weekly review of journals of the carnal arts were not stemmed even though the nation was unable to feed itself, and thus a fair amount of lewd material was to be found on shelves. This proved a deadly weapon in the hands of the Hun, who would open the magazine at the (in)appropriate page and show the Tommie. Reacting as every good Brit would, he shielded his eyes, leaving him open to attack, and the poor defenceless chap was riddled with bullets – a tactic later used by the Brits themselves in Operation Kratos. Thus, Churchill ordered the French President, Pepe Le Pew, to produce a special kind of sanitized filth dubbed ‘For British Eyes Only’, including such depravities as images of a ladies’ calf and ankle from 30ft, or a rather racy curving vase, and words like ‘mammary’ typed with only 2 letters replaced by an Asterix (another famous cheese eating surrender monkey). This proved successful, and allowed a safe conclusion to Operation Overlord. But enough history…

The final FBEO is composed on solid English soil. It’s overcast outside, and Michael Fish tells me there could be showers with intermittent sunshine. That’s the best kind, because I have to carry both wet and dry weather apparel. Huzzah!

Much as the US began to grate towards the end, I really can’t help feeling it could have been done better. Circumstances not withstanding, which did their best to get in our way, we reached the end, but the whole finale was thrown out of kilter. Without a support car, we entered a bit of a downward spiral, with no-one really sure what was going on, endless trivialities got in the way of key issues, and before we knew it, we had to leave. And then we were gone. Fin. An anticlimax if ever I saw one. Next time I vote we bring a German – one of those would never let things get so out of hand…

I feel sorry for the Hopkins and SKCCC chaps and chapesses who put on an excellent do for us, because we were so flustered we couldn’t settle into it. I blame Mercury for the car (the root of the issue), and lawsuits have been issued. I also feel sorry for me too. This morning a package arrived with a small sampler of the Italian and Spanish delights they sampled at Pazo, but it wasn’t the same (Air travel destroys food, fact.). I’d just like to say thanks for the turn out, and if I am ever in the area, can I take you up on that tour offer…?

The trip we took showed us a totally different view of America to what everyone sees, and what we expected. Putting the madness aside (concealed weapons in cars…), the US has alot going for it if you dare to venture more than 50 miles from the coastline or the major airport hubs (of 5,500 airports, over 90% is through 10 major hubs – thank you very much Smithsonian Air and Space Museum!). It’s perfectly possible to go where ever you want amongst some amazing terrain, and be totally free from the attachments of civilisation (which maybe integral or extraneous, depending on you standpoint). I would definitely say the Rocky Mountains are somewhere I would gladly visit again (but Kansas…? Corn is corn, get over it…) and have a world hidden away inside that is totally different from anything you could experience in the US, England or the world. Equally, the Red Canyon is something so alien to me, I would bare the heat to be back there, though I am sure I’ll regret saying that sometime soon.

Am I glad I did it? Yes, of course. I began to understand there is a limited amount of taxicab wisdom in Ezra’s maxim “Fun doesn’t have to be fun”. So what’s next? Stay out of the saddle for a while, and try to learn to love my old Ridgeback Velocity again. After that – true, we’d like to do something similar. England would be a walk in the park, plus cheap (Rah-hoo!). And then Scandinavia, what more can I say than Totty Allotment! (I hope Morgin doesn’t read this). Don’t worry, we’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when…

Finally, what did I do with all that “wonderful time to think” that people saw as the major incentive to the trip? I squandered it. Just like every other commodity I’ve ever had.

Until next time: Pax ex, bellum in, PMG

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3 Responses to “For British Eyes Only: There and Back Again”

  1. Fiona Says:

    Have really enjoyed reading all the updates but especially the FBEO – as a Brit who often travels to USA for work they have been great! I started looking at Jane’s Appeal but much preferred the CCFC style of adventure and updates!
    Any chance of you emailing when you start your next adventure so I can follow from the start? And maybe even offer wifi and showers in UK, or contacts in Gothenberg?
    Good luck to all
    Fiona

  2. Lauren Says:

    I haven’t looked at this page for a while and was excited to see the final FBEO post. I am sorry you did not get to see more of Baltimore nor enjoy the amazing food from Pazo’s but I don’t think they’ll be closing anytime soon and there will always be plenty to see in B-more so, the tour of the city offer is certainly still something all of us at SKCCC would be more than happy to do! Glad to see you made it home safely, thank you for all you did, and for keeping us entertained daily! …until your next big adventure

    Lauren
    SKCCC

  3. Becky Says:

    I’d like to contact Fiona, if she was on the Anna Antel this June. I’ve tried to reach Henry with the email provided with no luck. I did check out Jane’s trip across the US.

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