Yes, you heard right. Earlier this morning, one of our radio presenters out here, Rachel, was having a stand-off with the studio’s technology and came out looking a little down and not very happy with her show. I decided to give her a quick blast of my newly-acquired yodelling beaver. It worked, cheered her up a treat and she’s back to her usual smiling self now.
I now should explain myself so as to avoid misunderstandings or indeed a P45 making its way through the BFPO system to my dwellings in Camp Bastion.
On my return from a very successful trip to Kabul (notwithstanding my encounter with Jamie Oliver on the 14th below) – the stories from which you can follow on British Forces News and across the airwaves – there was a parcel waiting for me from home. Very exciting.
It was from my twin brother and his partner. I was editing all day and put it to one side to open in the evening as a treat. Very excited all day at the prospect. Very excited indeed. (you have to understand these small joys in the context of our existence on tour).
So after a long day of going through our soon-to-be-award-winning footage gathered in the capital, I snuggled up in my bed last night and tore my way through the parcel tape and opened my box of goodies….
In amongst packets of beef jerky, Japanese rice crackers (perfect antidotes to Jamie Oliver’s televised cordon bleu cooking), jelly beans and some of my most favourite toiletries was….wait for it…..a yodelling beaver.
He’s about 20cm tall, he’s sporting lederhosen and a natty hat with an edelweiss motif. He’s from Austria you see.
And the piece de resistance….he’s a rather accomplished accordion player. Oh yes, he has an accordion. And with one deft press of his left foot, he breaks into a traditional Tyrolean tune on the instrument.
It seems my brother smuggled the castaway through customs from one of his recent business trips to Austria and decided a short spell in Afghanistan would do him good. See the world and all that.
My furry friend now has pride of place in the office and his left toe gets a press every time morale takes a dip.
So it’s chuckles all round and a big thank you to my guardian angels back home and their fantastically thoughtful parcels!