The Book - Ships Nostalgia

Welcome!Welcome to Ships Nostalgia, the world's greatest online community for people worldwide with an interest in ships and shipping. Whether you are crew, ex-crew, ship enthusiasts or cruisers, this is the forum for you. And what's more, it's completely FREE.

Click here to go to the forums home page and find out more.
Click here to join.
Log in
User Name Password

The Book

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Old 26th February 2009, 02:01
Arthur Jenner Arthur Jenner is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 99
The Book

Here is a little more fiction

The book that changed my life

“This is the book that’ll change your life. Come on, Arthur. Listen to me. This is the book that’ll change your life.”
“Shut up Snowy. I’ll change your bloody life for the worse if you don’t be quiet. I’m trying to read a serious book.”
I was reading a paperback western and Snowy’s voice was interfering with my enjoyment of a gunfight between a sheriff and a gang of outlaws. It was the beginning of the trip and I was only just beginning to realise that the bloke I was sharing a room with was a raving bible basher. Snowy had just come off the four to eight watch and instead of lying on his bunk with a good story like most of us did, he had to go around preaching about the bible.
“ When you’ve read this one, you’ll never want to read any other book.”
“Listen Snowy. I had that book drummed into me at school and that was enough of it. Also, I don’t want to change my life. I like it the way it is.”
I think Snowy must have been a recent convert to some branch of Christianity because it seems to me that it is only the newly converted that are so determined to bring the rest of the world to their way of thinking. Those brought up in a religion generally seem take it more for granted.
“I’m sure that if you would listen to me, I could make you see the good book in a different light.”
“I don’t want to see it in a different light. I don’t want to see it in any light at all ever again.”
He continued to nag me about his good book at every opportunity for the rest of the trip. Fortunately it was a comparatively short trip and I prayed, no sorry, hoped that I would never sail with him ever again.
My next trip was on a tanker and I was very wary about getting a reasonable room mate. Unfortunately, I became stuck with a fellow from Glasgow who seemed quite a reasonable bloke at first. He had the top bunk and mine was underneath. He didn’t appear to be particularly religious but he was, as I was to discover later, a fanatical follower of sport of all kinds and in particular boxing. He would lay on his bunk chattering about all the top boxers of the day in a way that assumed I must surely be as interested in them as he was. The more I tried to convince him that I wasn’t interested, the more he tried to persuade me that learning about his heroes would change my life. He even had a book about them that he threatened to give me for nothing. Absolutely free. I did manage to survive that trip. I don’t know how.
Then came a long trip right around the world. Casablanca, Suez, East Africa, Singapore, Fremantle, Sydney, Japan, Vancouver, Panama. A very long trip and the very worst life-changing book fanatic of them all.
His name was Christian but, of course, he wasn’t one. Quite the opposite in fact. He was committed communist. A devotee of Karl Marx whose book, Das Kapital, would, he assured me, change my life for ever. Once I had read it, I would see the light and never look back.
I suffered as never before. At every opportunity, he would bash my tired ears with his propaganda. While we were lying on our bunks, when we were working together painting, chipping, sugeeing, battening down, tying up or whatever, his voice would persist in trying to implant his beliefs into my tired brain. It eventually became too much to bear.
It was when we were homeward bound from Panama for Liverpool. I had managed to avoid him to some extent by volunteering to be the day-worker. Which meant I worked a five and a half day week and had my one and a half day week-end free. He was on the eight to twelve watch and one night I was on my way to the second mate’s room to return a copy of the Shorter Oxford Dictionary that he had lent me. It was just after two bells, nine pm to you, and I saw Christian walking along the deck, coming off look-out and heading aft for smoke. The sight of him must have turned my brain. I crept up on him and hit him as hard as I could with the heavy book He staggered but didn’t fall. He turned and saw me and a surprised look came onto his face. Before he could recover I hit him again and he fell. As quick as I could, I bundled over the rail and into the sea. As he fell I thought I heard him say faintly, “Why, Arthur, why?”
I continued on my way, hoping I hadn’t damaged the book, that wonderful book that has changed my life. Now I always take a copy of that book on all my trips. Actually though it isn’t quite the same book. I hollowed out my copy and filled it with lead. It has come in handy a number of times. So you lot had better watch out.


Last edited by Arthur Jenner; 26th February 2009 at 11:35..
Reply With Quote
Old 26th February 2009, 04:16
John Briggs's Avatar
John Briggs John Briggs is offline  
Forever a Seaman
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Navigation
Active: 1956 - 1973
Join Date: Feb 2006
My location
Posts: 8,618
You can be a frightening bastard at times Arthur!
Inside every older person is a younger person - wondering what the hell happened.
Reply With Quote
Old 26th February 2009, 04:44
Sister Eleff's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
My location
Posts: 5,815
I must remember never to cross you Arthur
Reply With Quote
Old 26th February 2009, 09:58
R58484956's Avatar
Super Moderator
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Engineering
Active: 1952 - 1965
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 14,868
Another nice one Arthur, keep them coming.
Reply With Quote
Old 26th February 2009, 11:30
Arthur Jenner Arthur Jenner is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 99
What me?

I aint reely like that; jest pritendin'.
The sport bloke was real though. He nearly drove me mad with his addiction to boxing.
Reply With Quote
Old 2nd March 2009, 23:07
PollY Anna PollY Anna is offline  
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
My location
Posts: 845
That was one of the things about being at sea you met some real characters. Some you had to stay away from, yet on a ship where could you hide. I was lucky as I picked up the 12 to 4 on most ships so a lot of the time I just had fellow watch keepers and the 2nd Mate, so had a quite life.
Any way Arthur I will buy your first book of short stories when you have them published. I got to keep pushing as I think that you have a great talent and it should be saved for future generations. It would be good to let the young know what we went through in a different time and era and yet it was only 40 to 60 years ago. Such a short time in the time of man. You have gained a few extra friends since you joined this site.

Regards Ron

Last edited by PollY Anna; 3rd March 2009 at 10:42..
Reply With Quote
Old 27th March 2009, 21:27
jmcg's Avatar
jmcg jmcg is offline   SN Supporter
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Deck
Active: 1966 - 1983
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,302
Usually my first "viewing" in the morning - "Tales from Arthur"

Keep them coming Arthur.


Reply With Quote
Old 28th March 2009, 00:53
cboots cboots is offline  
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 987
Hah, that was a good story though I confess to being a little apprenhensive whether it is true or not. Actually you'd have done far better bashing your tormentor over the head with the full volumes of Das Kapital as the full work, as opposed to Volume 1 which is the most widely known and read, runs to six thick and heavy tomes. Many would argue that the contents are more dangerous than physical work itself, however, as my Scotch ancestors would have said, if its certainty that your after, "Ye'll nae gae far wrang wi a guid bash o'er the heed."
Reply With Quote
Old 28th March 2009, 10:02
jmcg's Avatar
jmcg jmcg is offline   SN Supporter
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Deck
Active: 1966 - 1983
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,302
It matters not whether it cometh from the pen of Arthur or from the quill of Nelson - still a good yarn.



Last edited by jmcg; 28th March 2009 at 10:52.. Reason: .
Reply With Quote
Old 10th April 2009, 10:03
rickzek rickzek is offline  
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 64
'ere' Arthur the greatest books of all time must be our own discharge books.
Open one up and the memories come flooding back. Hard times good times
and the times you do not tell her in doors about. A time when there was no
e'mail or mobile phones and every thing was recorded on paper.
Thanks to she who must be obeyed every letter is numbered and filed in order
right up untill 2003 when e'mail took over. Keep the press rolling ,on on .
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Book daveyjones Books, Magazines, TV, Video & Publications 14 27th August 2010 03:58
E-Mail Address Book paisleymerchant Computers and The Internet 8 22nd February 2009 16:36
New Book Launch hulltrawler Books, Magazines, TV, Video & Publications 11 11th December 2007 20:43

Support SN

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.