30 years ago, in the weekend that it looked I might be conscripted to fight the first Gulf war (we really did think that), I flew up to Edinburgh to meet a girl called Siobahn (i.e. Shivawn) I’d met on the Christian dating site.

We drove up to Cromarty the next day, the furthest I’d travelled since passing my test 6 months previously, and although the Black Isle impressed, exhaustion and terror were ever present.

But now we were back, and to be honest I couldn’t remember it at all.

Those things sticking up in the sea are actually Nessie detectors, as you can see from the aerial view.

“Historic Cromarty” has an 18th century tourist map, and even older buildings.

It’s the Saffron Walden of the North, with added sea.
It was a gorgeous walk along the beach.

Such a shame about the pub (to follow).


  1. Never really thought I’d get called up for the Gulf, but was seriously concerned about getting called up if the Falklands went pear-shaped and they needed to reinforce. Was 20 at the time and at university. General consensus was we’d go if we were called on, but we’d much rather leave it to the professionals.


  2. I must say I’m surprised at any non-service personnel being called up for either the Gulf War, or the Falklands, (unless you were reservists). Both were fairly localised conflicts, so I think the scare stories circulating at the time (I don’t personally remember them), were just that – rumours put about by those who had no chance of getting called up themselves. (Too old, unfit etc.)

    Those called up for National Service, several decades previously, were sent to conflicts in both Korea and Malaya, but National Service ended in 1960. The last national servicemen were discharged in 1963, as periods of deferred service still had to be completed.

    My father was fortunate in being sent to Germany – a non-combat area, although servicemen were pitted against numerically superior, Warsaw pact forces, on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

    Basically, what I am trying to day to both Martin and Bill, there was practically zero chance of either of you having to accept the Queen’s shilling – even if it does make for a good story!


    1. You’re probably right of course, although there were scare stories circulating at the time. What concerned us wasn’t so much being sent to the Falklands as regular troops having to go from the Army of the Rhine and needing to be replaced somehow. It was the Cold War and we were a bit paranoid at the time!

      Liked by 1 person

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