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August 22, 2009: My Special Alphabet

On Friday, enroute Edinburg to Inverness, my husband Mark and I stopped in the port city of Leith to tour the royal yacht Britannia. Launched in 1953, this beautiful ship served Queen Elizabeth for 44 years until its decommission in 1997.

Prior to our tour, I thought "Humph, why should taxpayer money foot the bill for a monarch's personal boat?" After learning the history of royal yachts (Britainna is the 83rd in a long line stretching back to 1660), and walking Britannia stem to stern, my attitude changed to nostalgia. The gorgeous ocean vessel is now maintained by the charitable organization Royal Britannia Trust. Lunch in the tearoom was scrumptous.

Displayed on a rear deck was the NATO international radiotelephony spelling alphabet. The alphabet assigns a code word to each letter of the English alphabet so that critical combinations of letters can be pronounced and understood. As a career US Air Force man and then a commercial pilot, Mark has used this alphabet most of his life. He turned his back on the display board and rattled off all 26 code words to me. When he finished, the tourists within earshot applauded politely.

On the drive to Inverness, I practiced over and over until I do them all in order: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, Xray, Yankee, Zulu.

Today's Fortune Cookie Fortune:
You will have memory problems.

Posted on Sunday, August 23, 2009 by Registered CommenterMarianne Fons | CommentsPost a Comment | References3 References

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