Wednesday, 9 September 2009

The mission was a success; in fact it ran like clockwork.

We slipped in under cover of darkness, moving swiftly and silently between the shadows. We were a small crack team carefully selected for our ability to evade detection behind enemy lines, deep within the forbidden zone. Trust was everything; there were only two of us. I'd watch his back, he kept mine. It meant we could stealthily manoeuvre ourselves into position without raising any alarms. The months of reconnaissance and meticulous planning had paid big dividends. We knew the sentry's movements and routines right down to the last details. D-day (or maybe that should be P-day) was upon us. The operation was now in full swing, there was no going back now.

With an almost feline quality I slowly crept forward. Keeping myself out of sight, I kept my body flat against the cold hard stone of the old building. Two quick flashes from the gloom between the lorry container and the building meant the coast was clear. I covered the distance quickly as I sprinted across the floodlit yard. There were no shouts or yelling, good. I hadn't been seen and we hadn't been compromised. I disappeared once again into the welcoming murky cover of darkness. The bulk of the lorry would help hide us for the next part of the mission.

With a small penlight clenched between his teeth he produced from his person a small dropper of locksmiths oil. He applied it to the padlock to help loosen the years of rust and grime that had caused it to seize. I handed him the large brass key that had been stolen from the key cabinet earlier that night. Like a pro he manipulated the lock for what seemed like an age. I could hear the blood rushing in my ears and feel my heart pounding in my chest; we could be caught at any time. Suddenly there was a “Click” as the old lock jumped open. We were in!

Sneaking through the gate we passed the point of no return. If we were caught in here we would be trapped within the compound. No smart talking would get us out of it. If the alarms went up the plan was simple. Split up and fight dirty, right to the end revealing nothing. Failure was simply not an option!

As we moved through the undergrowth we stopped suddenly, there were footsteps crunching through the gravel towards us. I was silent, afraid even to breathe the cold harsh air in case our cover was blown. My bottle was going but still and silent I remained. The footsteps faded away as the sentry passed us by, he wasn't due for another 4 mins 30secs! That was close, too close. A spot patrol or did the enemy suspect something? We had to work quickly. Silently we ran across the lawn to the cover of the trees. Bingo! We hit paydirt! We had reached the target.

As fast as we could without causing a disturbance we gathered as much of the booty as we could carry.

There was no counting or dividing our shares up now, there was no time. We'd sort that later. Once we had enough we had to leave unnoticed. We crept out silently locking the gate behind us. It was easier this time as the lock mechanism had been worked on earlier. Slowed only slightly by our cargo we left the safety of our cover and made it across the yard undetected by the night patrols. As the Darkness left and was replaced by the weak light of dawn they didn't even know we had been!

We split the prize right down the middle and parted company. I headed off to HQ as the sun was rising. I left the box on the table for Louise to find later. I knew she would be pleased. It meant Phase Two could start almost immediately. The risks and danger had been high but the reward would be worth it.

The next day, after we had gathered some other essential supplies we got cracking. It was hard work but satisfying, I could almost taste the sweet success already. It wouldn't be long though. It's a complicated process and if I'm honest I don't completely understand it. I help out where I can though...

The secret lab back at HQ almost turns into a production line.

Processing the raw materials.

Helping where I can...

Chief scientist/alchemist


It's not just jam you can make from plums, there's cake too!


  1. Ha Ha you like like some naughty kid who's been caught out on that last pic! I will be expecting a pot of Plum Jam next week!!! Or atleast a taster!

  2. Sorry but this is strictly limited edition, high quality, contraband jam we're talking about here! We can't keep just giving it away, we need to keep some for ourselves...that's Chief Alchemist for "Bugger, There's not a lot of that left; I think we should have used smaller jars, we can't give any more away or there'll be none left for us!"

  3. LOL Yes I can confirm the jam is very good & if you're very lucky Jamie I shall bring my very precious jar to Glencoe for you to have a teaspoon of ;-)

  4. Oh I don't know Wizzie, I reckon wee could give Jamie a wee taste but only if he dresses up like a pirate and only speaks pirate speak on the Sunday ;o)

  5. We'll meet you guys at a dodgy layby on the A82 on the way up so get some sorted and put in a brown paper bag and we'll make the deal next week ;-)"we can't give any more away or there'll be none left for us!" aye I went through a phase of making tomato jam and never had enough for ourselves as we kept giving it away! :-(

    We're bringing our Shangri-La La next week btw, you seam sealed yours yet matey? I'm gonna be trying out that pole extension thing of tying string round it and a few velcro things as I found some of those velcro straps at work the other day.

    Can't believe how good the weather is and I can't get out as I'm in Weegie Land for a stag party :-(

  6. I may be mistaken, it may be a dialect thing but I was under the distinct impression that "we" as in you and I collectively was only spelled with one e, not two. I know you Scots like your tautology but come on, there have to be limits!

    You wouldn't think having any jam left your to yourself would be a problem having used 8kgs of fruit would you? We have one negotiable jar left, it's been promised but I think one act of piracy deserves another & it could be divided into two smaller jars...

  7. I know, a mistake always gets through when I criticise your spelling BBF I should just stop.

  8. Nah not yet, I need some settled weather and a day off work to coincide so I can get seam sealing duties completed.

    I'll bring the Alpkit handle section up to the OM meet for you, its slightly heavier than a bit of velcro and some string but I'd reckon it'll be a good bit more secure and it's definitely much less faff. I've also got some sticky backed velcro tape to fit aswell for being able to shut the vents.

    Tomato Jam eh? thats sound interesting, I feel a swap could be in order...

  9. Brilliant report! Gave me a good chuckle anyway. Looking forward to the (pirate!) meet next weekend ;-)

  10. Aye, there was much chuckling and tee-heeing whilst I enjoyed my first bit of plum jam on toast, then in my porridge then there was stewed plums on some ice cream and of course there was plum cake which was nice with a coffee after work ;o)

  11. I can now confirm it is ruddy good!!!

  12. Glad you enjoyed it Jamie, I'd savour it thouh thats the last of it till next year!


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