I still have nightmares about failing exams. These  nightmares are never staged  in the examination room  itself but some days or weeks before and are characterized by a realization that I have not done sufficient work and I am going to fail, resulting in unbearable humiliation and exposure. There is nothing I can do. It is too late. Charlie Drake expressed a similar dread of the inevitable in his classic, “Please Mr Custer.”


So imagine my joy when I sail through my open water diver tests. The first exam I have passed in over 30 years! Hooray I am now a qualified diver. Thanks here to my very capable instructor, Jan.  You want to learn to dive in calm, personalized,  non-gung-ho-way?  Then come to Okinawa and sign up with Jan.


Jan the Man

We do two great dives off Maeda Point, the second one taking over an hour. The surface of the sea is the perfect disguise. You stare at it yet have no idea what is the true nature of the sea. Underneath there is a world completely other. In my dotage I have no desire to do anything extreme or challenging. I just want to hang out down there and observe. The water was very transparent and we ambled along the reef just looking at stuff, freaky fish, crazy coral,  sinuous sea snakes, and current favorite  –  the nudibranch.


I had never heard of these things before but they are my current proposal for Nature’s best bits of jewelry work.

See what I mean?

Anyway I reward my success with a big tropical fish.

Unknown fish, big radish, spicy garlic and an onion

I like it here!

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2 Responses to Testophobia

  1. Mike Taylor says:

    Re: Hello My Darlings.
    That’s very weird, I was reviewing a number of Charlie Drake’s (and Tommy Cooper’s) sketches on Youtube just a week ago. Remember the one when he gets knocked out after being pulled through a library bookcase which had been accidentally strengthened by an overzealous props man ? Dotage, nostalgia, disturbed childhood ?
    On that subject don’t forget to check out Morecambe & Wise (breakfast on Christmas Day) next time you’re feeling down, or the 2 Ronnies (4 candles etc.)
    I also have this recurring dream (nightmare) of going into an an exam room having read none of the required books and neglected revision. And I still can’t understand how I managed to fail English Language O level first time round. Retaken with flying colours the following December. Blame the teachers.

    Btw I see that the plural of nudibranch is nudibranchs, which is almost as weird as the nudibranch itself.

  2. Alan says:

    Looks like a red mullet to me. One of the goatfish. Lovely fish which has sadly become fashionable amongst the foodies and hence harder to get and more expensive. Enjoy it.

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