The phrase Alistair wanted

was not “someone who’s on my side” but “someone who can see my point of view” or even just “someone who can see I might have a point of view too”.


I can think of a few other phrases he could deploy to useful effect.

oh, and Call-me-Dan is a most unlikely Captain, don’t you think?


Standard promotion for his length of service, I suppose. Maybe a little earlier than some. He passed out of Sandhurst on 10th April, 2015. Actually, I shall have to check that; I think it might be rather unusually early; I don’t remember his promotion to lieutenant, though I do remember David being impressed because he was a second lieutenant – which shows how much he, or perhaps Simon Frith, knows about the army, that being the lowest possible rank and meaning only “you are breathing”.

Oh, oops:

In order to promote to Captain, officers are required to complete:

5 Years service
2.5 years at RD
Junior Officer Leadership Programme
Joint Officer Tactical Awareness course
Military Knowledge 1

so there is no way Dan is qualified yet.


Oh come on, Fishy. There was a cancellation :wink:

Thank you for confirming wot I suspected about the timeline, quite apart from any grave doubts I harbour about the big soft sap’s personality and fitness for the rank.


I’m struggling to sympathise with Alistair at the moment. His point of view seems to be that he had no idea anything was wrong. It’s really hard to believe that. We’ve heard how lukewarm they sound to each other and indeed how totally uninterested each is in the other’s doings in spite of sporadic and in my opinion token efforts such as Shula lobbying for him to go into partnership with Anisha (how well that turned out!) and his support of her becoming Joint Master.

She wants to end the marriage and he doesn’t. So he keeps on and on at her to provide an explanation that will satisfy him. He won’t accept her simple ‘I don’t love you any more’ and goes round posing as the wronged party.

Not that I have much time for Shula with her ‘trying to save the marriage for years’ balderdash and out-and-out lying about the ‘mutual decision’. Maybe they should stay together, they are the perfect couple in the same way Toby and Pip are.

Oh, I’ve just thought: those paste sandwiches for the cricket team, that was Shula trying to save the marriage!


How right you are, Janie dere, and what a good spot: because if she’d served them to Alastair as originally intended, she’d have had divorce papers arriving within the week.


Give him a chance, Gus: he’s only 23. Most people don’t get promoted Captain until they are 26 or over.


Eh? I’m not suggesting he is tardy in being enCaptained. I am suggesting he is a big girl’s blouse with all the tact of a decaying muntjak and sounds about 15.

  1. It’s the new 26 maybe.

Yet again the SW’s run ahead of themselves like over-eager teenagers.


It’s another hommage, innit? Bananas, this time:

"All people under 26 are now 26 years old"


I see your point, Janie, but as I read it Alistair had assumed that both he and Shula had accepted that the spark had gone, but that they were at least reasonably comfortable with each other. Lots of people have unhappy marriages, especially in Ambridge; he thought they’d tacitly agreed to settle for a dull one. But then all of a sudden Shula changed her mind.

it would have been “oh dear, and I’m sure it was in date” and “there there”… and more work for the undertaker.


I can see it’s been a big shock for Alistair but I don’t understand how, now that it has happened, he can really be quite as baffled as he says. It sounded to me as though they were not even liking each other very much of late.

But assuming that he still doesn’t understand what went wrong, I don’t see that the suddenness of Shula’s declaration gives him and - it seems - everyone else in Ambridge the right to bang on and on at her for more explanations than she has already given as if that will make her change her mind.

Alistair keeps saying they need to talk and they do, but he really wants to talk about ‘saving their marriage’, going to counselling, whereas Shula doesn’t as she’s made up her mind. They ought to be discussing living arrangements, are they getting a divorce or not, division of assets and so on.

I suppose it is still pretty recent for him. Crazy of him to move out of the house, in my opinion.


Apparently it has All Been Changed; the Army recruitment site at now says they only have to serve three to get captaincy.

I do hope that the option of getting rid of them before they cause deaths in command is open to their superior officers! And I somehow doubt this is particularly popular with previous intakes who had to serve the full five before they might get a promotion, instead of being guaranteed promotion after three just for continuing to breathe in and out and not getting caught doing anything more than usually stupid for a lieutenant.