What do you miss being a matelot?

Apologies if this has been done before.

For those contract breaking matelots who I am one of amongst the rum ration membership, whose arse may belong to a civvy company but whose heart will always belong to pusser.

Had a nostalgic night stood in the flip flop drinking JC's, and we came upon the conversation, was it worth leaving before our time was done? and what do we miss.

there was a long list including, forenoon make and mends 24 hours off, free socks and batteries( have you seen the price of these items nowadays) sundowners breakfast beers then sunuppers, doing a job that made a difference but the biggest most important one that was mentioned was having an oppo you could rely on, he may want to shag my sister and crack one out over my mam but could always be relied upon in times of need,

So I put it to the membership what do you miss?

I shall apologise now for any mong spelling or punctuation.


War Hero
Guzzler said:
The money.
Money? You me we were supposed to get paid. No bastard told me!

Seriously, I still miss the open sea and the excitement of arriving at some exotic port.

Ah yes! and the women! all those women....mmmm. :w00t:


War Hero
I miss the travelling and the mess mates. The Social life of it.
I enjoyed the jobs I did.

Don't miss the all changes going or the lack of harmony time.

I now own a company have a far more settled life

No regrets
Sunday Dinners every day, Chinese Laundry,3 cans per day & some.DFs.large Goffers.Nutty Fiends,Sports pages,Blank week scrumpy runs,Payday Playboys,Fanny rats.Widows Hop,Barracks Hop,Joannas,Bistro,smart functional uniform,LOA,KUA,126,P7R.RDP,ROMFT,RAM IT, Jossmen with a sense of Humour?maybe not,Malta dog Shoots ,Black forest bear hunts,Singapore Ear,Abusing sticky green buyers,Piggys so thick that even the rest of the wardroom have realised it,Ufcky off the Hood,Hands to Bathe,Deck hockey,Uckers,Three times at em ,Get em off,Sickbay rangers,Scab lifters,Bunting tossers,Sparks,Gollies,Gunners,Tasapes,Are peas,All Chefs are Beef,Especially the Chief.Pisspot Jerkers,Billy Biros,Jack Dustys,The Tanky,Chippys party ,Outside Wrecker,Navis yeo-yeo,Splash Target Coxwains,Solly Goldblum Naval Tailor is now in attendance on the Jetty,Small ships Canteen.Grippos,Post Office savings,Electrical Magicians(ex Devonshires with disappearing Broomshank)Painters,Jenny Side Party,Peanuts Dly Cleen ,Tex,Capt fwd Heads &bathrooms,Pepe,Danny Church Steam Shy Stoker,Pier head jumps,Babys Heads,Touch your collar for luck Jack,AFOs with printing errors,Wafus & Icecream,Zippos,getting lashed up,Call rounds,Gronk boards,Sods Operas,Banyans,Feeding Rock Apes Caramels & strong Drink,Laughing Bags,Flying Fids,Five Finger Spreads,Motezumas revenge,&regulators in that order
To tell what I miss not being a matelot is far too precise and time consuming
However some of the more regular are :

Visits to far away places with strange sounding names( sounds like a song )
The smell of salt and ozone in the nostrils.
Living with really regular oppos who care about each other.
A sense of doing a good job for our country.
Being pissed as a fart and singing bawdy songs, what more could any self
Respecting matelot miss?


War Hero
The Banter, civies just can't do it.
I don't miss being spoken down to by junior hoccifors with a few GCE"O" levels just because they could do it.
My ONC was a far superior educational qualification. however this was the early 80s and I do realise things have changed dramatically since then :)
I agree, the banter in the Andrew is second to none. Jack can take the piss out of all, including himself and seldom is any offence taking. Camaraderie
Is something that is not in the civvy dictionary. I miss it so much.


War Hero
Sitting on the beach in Barbados with a glass of local rum in hand, palm trees swishing in a warm breeze behind me.
The seawater as clear as Dartington crystal and as warm as gloves just brought out of the oven on frosty school day morning when I was ten. Watching a huge fiery red sun sink into the mirror smooth sea on the far horizon.....and I thought to myself, I didn't pay to get here, I'm not rich.
I was just getting on for 17 and a bit years as an inhabitant of planet Earth and I kept on being taken to new places. All I had to do was work, obey regulations and not get up to too much silly stuff.

In 1974 I became a submariner, grew more public hair, got paid more and it all went to shit.

Seriously......it was all good, apart from when it wasn't.



War Hero
Review Editor
Book Reviewer
I miss my monthly chats with the Captain.

I take it he has not been a bad boy as he is still wearing his cap.

My question though is why do the officers have jackets on while Jolly Jack is in short sleeve order? Should all not be in the same order of dress?
I miss the camaraderie, a wet on the flight deck as the sun goes down (apprentice training), being awoken at 0600 to the sound of ventilation being shut down and the arooga going off (work ups were fun), to going foreign with pusser paying you to be there, to having sewage swimming around on 3 deck because we were in sonar quiet state and the CO didnt want to pump shit (ok, I don't really miss that).

Returning from patrol and seeing FBC and knowing we would be alongside soon, seeing the hills change from grey when we left to bursting with spring colour on our return. The many long goodbyes :( but the joy of the reunion with loved ones on my return :)

The sense of humour Jack has. Civvies just do not get it and never will.


War Hero
I take it he has not been a bad boy as he is still wearing his cap.

My question though is why do the officers have jackets on while Jolly Jack is in short sleeve order? Should all not be in the same order of dress?
It was the nearest thing to a defaulters table that I could find.
Sometimes - you stood there and nice things happened...sometimes
it was the opposite. I would imagine that most of us have been
there for both.


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