Tuesday 12 March 2013

Watch Straps

Two Christmases ago I managed to write a blog post that contained all of seven unlikely expressions given to me by one of the offices at work.

Today's story contains eight words from a packet of jasmine tea. Can you find them?

As I type this I am wearing a NATO standard watch strap. I can understand perfectly why there would be NATO standards for things like ammunition, but it's not clear to me why all the soldiers' watches should have matching straps. I've never studied battlefield medicine, and I'm overdue a first-aid refresher course, but I'm pretty sure you're never going to hear this in a warzone: "Keep the pressure on the wound and take off your watch damn it! We're going to lose this man if he doesn't get an infusion of plasma and a new watch strap".

My skin sometimes gets irritated under my watch, so these straps are ideal, they're a gift at under a tenner, they go all the way around the wrist so that you never touch the watch, and they're made of sturdy nylon[Note1] so they can go in the washing machine. The actual NATO specification (which I have read) specifies a homely grey colour but mine is navy blue with a red and silver pinstripe evoking a flavour of empire or luxury air travel.

[Note1] the specification actually calls for Nylon by name. That used to be a trade name for a pair of plastics sold by the DuPont corporation, Polyamide-6 and polyamide-6,6. These days it seems to be a general term for all polyamides, people even classify plastics as aliphatic nylons, aromatic nylons, semi-aromatic nylons etc.

Richard "wordsearch" B


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