The fellow in the photograph behind my mum, you may recall the Nightingale of the Farkhams, is my 'uncle' Monty Farkham. The party is all smiles now but just a few hours before this photograph was taken, things were very different.
Monty was the sort of person who always tried to be a 'leader' in any situation and liked to live life high, wide and handsome. His nickname 'Monty' came from his claims to have been decorated in WW2 at El Alamein. However, a number of family members are on record as saying that was the oddest spelling of Catterick that they have ever seen, and that the only decoration that he was party to was the painting of the latrines.
Anyway, Monty decided that the ENSA troupe should go on a camel trekking day, so they were dropped off at the camel hire station where he sought out the drover to haggle. When asked which animals he preferred, Monty, in that special patronising tone that the British reserve for anyone from another country, bellowed "I WANT TWO FAR CAM-EL" while gesticulating to the far end of a line of parked dromedaries.
From nowhere the owner produced an evil looking knife and pinned Monty up against the wall while he sent his boy running for the Cairo Regional Animal Protection Squad, who turned up in double quick time and whisked Monty off to a dungeon while the rest of the party wondered what was going on.
"Thees dirty, foul, Eenglishbuggerysodomisingperverttourist wants to do something 'orrible to all of my camels. He wants to Farkham Hall!", protested the owner. "No, no, no my good man, you have it all wrong. I live near Farkham Hall, I WANT two far camels|. There was another short scuffle...
Eventually, the British Embassy came with interpreters and the matter was cleared up. Having made a generous donation, slipping a number of large denomination notes into the CRAPS tin, Monty was allowed to carry on and the camel trek went ahead as hoped. In honour of this long-gone relative, the Farkham Hall teddy bear is named monty. He makes a perfect gift for the person who wants to show they don't give a damn, even when they are not there...
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