Saturday (I don't want to blog about politics) night.

I went clay pigeon shooting this afternoon. It's official. I'm such a bad shot, I couldn't hit a pissed up elephant.

Out of 25 clays, I hit one and winged two. It's not very good when you hear the load bang, feel the recoil and watch your clay target continue to sail off into the distance, turning back once to wink at you, then off on it's merry way.

Still, it's all good fun. It's a very relaxing sport, even with the noise. Just you and couple of other folks, and green land as far as the eye can see. It was weird after I got back home, I had to pop into town and that was chavs as far as the eye could see.

I hadn't planned to go shooting this afternoon but I was bored and wanted to get out of the house for a while. My gun is still in the repair shop waiting for a new firing pin. Two weeks seems a bit long for changing a firing pin, but what do I know? I went down to the gun shop and picked up a decent single barrel for twenty nine quid. Absolute bargain.

I was going back to the car with my new shooter wrapped in brown paper when an old chap who was just coming out of his house stopped me and said, "Ist tha doin a bit o shootin ist tha lad?"

"Eye. That tha is", I replied. I always stop and talk to old people if they engage me in conversation. They can be very funny and sometimes you can learn a great deal of stuff you never knew before, be it valuable or totally useless.

I've often wondered what the local residents must think about having a gun shop right on the doorstep. People can be really ignorant and intolerant of firearms. It's a very British thing. My next door neighbours don't know I own guns. Mrs Four Toddlers would probably write to the papers or something.

Anyway, this old chap was telling me that he has been a member of a rifle and pistol club for thirty five years. He was quite proud to inform me that he has a trophy for being the worst shot in the club. Judging by todays performance, it won't be long before I have one of those.

The only problem with having a conversation with an old bloke is, it's best to listen rather than speak.

What do you shoot?

Clay pigeons

Rabbits?

No, clay pigeons.

I used to shoot rabbits too. Where do you shoot?

Westhoughton.

Rabbits? I'm sorry, I'm a bit mutton.

What?

Rabbits?

He was good people. They're a dying breed.

He reminded me a bit of my Grandad, rest his soul. He fought in world war two. He was part of a group that liberated some prisoner of war camp in Europe. I can't remember the name. You could tell he had been affected badly by his experiences because his hands always used to shake. His handwriting had a ripple effect to it. Anyway, as a general rule he would never talk about his war experiences apart from one story that he told quite often.

He says there were four of them in a jeep, driving through a clearing when they started taking fire from the treeline. They all bailed out, crouched behind the jeep and started to return fire. After a few minutes, about thirty Germans walked out of the trees with their hands up.

There was no way they could have dealt with thirty odd POWs so they just took their rifles off them and sent them on their way!

When he died I inherited a small box of artifacts he had "collected" during those years.

Amongst them is a huge Nazi flag, a Nazi officers armband and some medals and badges from various ranks of enemy soldier.

One of the more interesting items is a medal that was given to parents when they had their fourth child. Apparently is was to reward them for giving birth to good Germans who would swell the ranks of the cause, or something.

For being a good German
Officers armband

Various German badges
I think these were my Grandads
I think these were too
I have no idea what these are
Does anyone recognise any of these items?
I remember from my childhood that these was also a huge bowie knife with this collection but unfortunately it never made it to me

It's time for a few scoops and season seven of 24. Have a good evening.

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