10 March 2011

Remember Man......

Yesterday, I successfully evaded Ash Wednesday Service for the umpteenth time.

I cannot remember my last proper Ash Wednesday service. It may have been 2007 whilst still enslaved to the fashionably religious and pretentiously intellectual parish in PJ across the Federal Highway.
Yes, I know that this is a time of fast and abstinence.

Instead I spent the day sorting out the niggardly unserviceabilities of my ol' faithful 1992 SEG, then cycled 33 measly kilometres to Universiti Malaysia Sabah and back and finished the night pigging out on Basmathi and dried prawn sambal courtesy of Harry's charitable wife.

Her advice, relayed through a most emphatic Harry, was to only heat up what was necessary for a meal. So after I prised off the lid of that tupperware, I glanced at the rust-red heap and took out a huge droolworthy tablespoon to be refrigerated and did justice to the remainder.

I admit that I am not the most exemplary of Catholics, and the reason for a delayed death is that my pyre in Hades is still under continous construction to befit my calibre.

I am not proud of my departure from my Catholic upbringing, even though I did not really undergo any version of a sackcloth and ashes regimen.

Yes, whilst I lived with my aunts and uncles and cousins, my grandmother would keep everyone faithful by administering a rassam and salted fish diet during the fasting period. Yeah, absolutely no meat on Fridays. I didn't feel the loss really. It was pre-adolescence and it formed Pavlovian in less than three weeks, and stayed with me till I left home.

It was service life that finally exorcised me of almost all Catholic fast and abstinence, hurriedly replacing it with all manner of indulgence.

Food was probably the only satiably good thing that I had in Cadet Wing. The rest was hell. The seniors, the unceasing ironing, polishing, digging trenches, claymores, leeches and worst of all, watermanship, were the stark contrast of unpleasantries whilst food was not. So when Fridays came, the special lunch spread they had in the cookhouse before mosque parades was nigh impossible for me to turn my nose up at. And so yes, I ate of the flesh of the fowl on Fridays.

Now, this rolling stone has amassed so much moss that it is no closer to the foci of its ever expanding orbit by growth of its girth.

Maybe over these forty days I may go white dwarf, get back to the centre, and return to some honest Lenten practise.

Lest I forget, that I am dust, and unto dust shalt I return.


  1. Surely your indulgence is justified, for you made many sacrifices in the name of King and Country.

  2. Lynn, your attitude is a strong case for lady priests in the Catholic church.

  3. Greetings,

    Good to see you have a blog running again.
    Sorry to be off-topic but I have a couple of Nuri related questions that I'm very curious about.

    I read somewhere that there were quite a few Nuri's flying, which still had patched up bullet holes from the 2nd Emergency period. Is this true?

    You mentioned somewhere about flying in Sabah using NVG googles. Was this the LUNOS googles?

    Thank you,

  4. Fariz, all you have heard about the patches are is true. The communists always targeted the Nuri during insertion of troops into the jungle.
    The NVGs used by the military are not LUNOS but MIL spec ANVISes.

  5. Anonymous, thanks. The reason I was asking is because the army's A109 crews use the Lunos, which was shown at the army exhibition in K.L 3 weeks ago, and I was wondering if this was the same with the Nuri crews.


  6. I see. I know that the ANVIS is really good. Worn them as a passenger and wanted a pair for my birthday.

  7. Just wondering. If extra Nuri's have to be deployed to East Malaysia, how is it done?
    Are they actually flown all the way there over the South China Sea?


  8. LOL Fariz!!!! They cross over via Senai to Kuching using a few of the mandatory reporting points. So yes, they have the unenviable flight time of about near 3 hours of just sea vista. If you are in the helicopter pilot fraternity, anyone from No 10 or No 5 squadrons should be able to furnish those points. I was supposed to send one aircraft from Labuan to AIROD in 2009 but was sent on some other duty at the final moment so I can't provide the data myself.

  9. Thanks for the input, much appreciated. The reason I'm asking is because I'm very interested in all aspects of the MAF, and I'm currently working on a web-site in English, on the RMAF. The site contains current happenings -aircraft inventory, deployments,training, ground based radars, etc - as well as some historical stuff. There are various different sections on fighters, rotary assets, transports, training, etc.

    Would you mind if I sent you a draft of what I've done so far? I would be very interested to hear your thoughts and comments.

    Thank you, Fariz.

  10. Fariz, anyone who speaks up for the underdogged military piques my interest. Send me anything you wish, and I would be happy to aid. You know how to reach me?

  11. No sorry I don't have your contact details. Could I please have your E-Mail? Thanks.

  12. Fariz, pls re send that mail with yr articles. Lost the link.

  13. I was chuckling, giggling to myself while reading this post..

    Ahh..I am too guilty as charged..(ok, still giggling.. I better run ..hehehe..)

  14. Angie, by now you will know that holiness lies not in thoughtless observances, but the steely struggle towards faithfulness.

    We are all fallen, we sin because we are sinners, not that we are sinners because we sin.

    My heart always warms to those who have sold their soul for a chocloate malt, and then defiantly walked back to repurchase it.

    That, my friend, counts more than never having sinned.