Richard made straight for a beach bar and began on brandy sours, his drink of choice on the island. The drink consisted of two parts local brandy, one part Cypriot lemon squash, a couple of dashes of bitters, topped up with lemonade or soda and served in a tall glass, with ice. Local bars sometimes substituted Angostura bitters with the local stuff, which carried the wonderful name ‘Cock Drops’.
It wasn’t long before he was joined by Paul Robson, from Recce Troop, now also attached to B Squadron He had with him a number of other members of his Squadron, who were on time off. They grabbed a table and bought a round of drinks. The B Squadron blokes were only down for the day and were heading back that evening. They made the most of their down time as they could and the drinks were flowing. As they sat chatting and looking at the ‘talent’ strewn along the beach, one of B Squadron, who was called Mark, noticed two young ladies looking over at them, from an adjacent table. He smiled at them, the smile was returned and they then proceeded to whisper to one another. They were obviously interested in Mark he stood 6 feet 3 inches, in his flip flops and had the body of a male model. Knowing his luck was in, he rose and wandered over to the pair of girls. In the blink of an eye, he returned, with the girls in his wake. Introducing them as Agnita and Freya, he invited them to take a seat. They sat down, amidst the half pissed squaddies and began to make small talk. It transpired they were University students, who had just graduated and were now taking a year out, to explore the world. Everyone took turns in introducing themselves and the girls seemed genuinely impressed, when they heard the lads were British soldiers. As they chatted, one of the B Squadron blokes, called ‘Dusty’, was transfixed with Freya. He came from a rough area of Bradford and had a strong, nasal accent. Having ginger hair, he didn’t take well to the sun. In comparison to the bronzed counterparts around him, he was still as white as the day he got off the plane. He leaned over towards Freya and began to sniff her neck. She was slightly startled by this and wondered what was going on. Continuing to sniff, Dusty looked up at her and asked,
‘What’s that perfume you’ve got on?’
There was a hesitant pause, while Freya thought for a moment, translating his cultural Yorkshire accent, to ensure she had heard him correctly.
‘Chanel number 5,’ she answered, innocently, happy that someone found her scent appealing.
‘Smells bloody lovely, that,’ came Dusty’s blunt retort.
There was another pause, as the friends looked at each other, wondering where this was going. No one could believe he was hitting on this girl, with her outstanding, Nordic good looks and beautiful body. Dusty was around five feet eight, and weighed around ten stone, naked. He simply wasn’t the sort that girls lusted after. The brief silence was broken by Freya.
‘What have you got on?’ she asked, politely.
Again Dusty looked her up and down, before replying,
‘A fuckin’ hard on, but I don’t think you can fuckin’ smell it.’
The group of friends fell about laughing, at what had been the highlight of the afternoon. Freya stared at him quizzically, not really understanding what he had said.
Mark interrupted the laughter, asking the two girls if they wanted to go for a swim. They nodded their agreement and the three stood up, to walk the short distance to the sea. They were joined by Paul, who said that he needed to cool down. They entered the water, wading out, till the Mediterranean Sea was up to their chests. The other friends paid no more attention and got more drinks from the bar. It was then Richard drew their attention to Mark and Freya.
‘Do you believe that jammy twat?’ he asked the others, who immediately gazed out to sea. Mark had Freya’s arms around his neck, her legs wrapped round him. It was obvious to the friends that they were engaged in full blown sex, not ten feet away from children, playing in the water. A short time later, the two couples returned to the table, Mark with a smug grin on his face and Freya, with a flush on hers. Like all squaddies, the episode was treated as a normal occurrence and nothing was mentioned. The journey home was different, though, and the story would be told and retold.