Like millions of others I was thrilled to see Prince Harry formally open the Invictus Games in Sydney. I though his speech was tremendous, coming straight from the heart and without the aid of any notes, let alone an autocue. His mother, the late Princess Diana, was surely smiling down on him from the starry firmament.
In the days that followed the opening of the Games I was delighted to see Harry & Meghan visit Hervey Bay and then Fraser Island in Queensland – two places I have visited myself. Indeed I made great mention of both in my latest book 'Sunburnt Pom's Tales of Oz' which you can see on this website. It was almost as if the Royal couple were following my own itinerary but, to my knowledge, they have not read the book. Perhaps I should send them a signed copy to Kensington Palace. To add further icing to the cake Harry also visited Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour where my father Victor's destroyer HMS Quilliam paid off in 1945. Do you think these Royals might go Down Under again? You just try stopping them!
Since my last blog it has been my pleasure to make a visit to the town of Barrow in Furness on the edge of the English Lake District. Famous for its shipbuilding history 'Barrow' is still a centre of excellence and is now the sole site for the construction of the Royal Navy's nuclear submarines. I always feel 'at home' in shipbuilding towns – perhaps because my forebears built the Titanic. In 1969 I spent an incredible twenty-one days on the P&O liner Orsova which was the last of the Orcades Class and was herself built in Barrow. I have just written an amusing story about a chap I shared a cabin with on the Orsova all those years ago. I have given it the mysterious title 'Mister Fly' but to see why you will have to wait until we have added it to my website from where you will be able to read and download it.
The clocks go back on Saturday night and GMT returns to the kitchen clock. The oft-repeated Game of Thrones mantra 'Winter's coming' springs immediately to mind. Ugh!